"Expecting A Different Result?" (2 of 3 in 'No Customer Left Behind' Series)

A guest post by David Vap, Group Vice President, Oracle Applications Product Development

Many companies already have some type of customer experience initiative in process or one that could be framed as such. The challenge is that the initiatives too often are started in a department silo, don't have the right level of executive sponsorship, or have been initiated without the necessary insight and strategic business alignment.

You can't keep doing the same things, give it a customer experience name, and expect a different result. You can't continue to just compete on price or features ─ that is not sustainable in commoditized markets. And ultimately, investing in technology alone doesn't solve customer experience problems; it just adds to the complexity of them.

You need a customer experience strategy and approach on how to execute a customer-centric worldview within your business.

To develop this, you must take an outside in journey on how your customers are interacting with your business to establish a benchmark of your customers' experiences. Then you must get cross-functional alignment on what you are trying to achieve, near, mid, and long term.

Your execution of that strategy should be based on a customer experience approach:

  • Understand your customer: You need to capture the insights across interactions, channels (including social), and personas to better understand whom to serve, how to serve them, and when to serve them. Not all experiences or customers are equal, so leverage this insight to understand the strategic business objectives you need to address. Then determine which experiences can be improved immediately and which over time to get the result you need.
  • Empower your ecosystem: You need to align your front-line employees with your strategy and give them the power, insight, and tools that allow them to cultivate a culture around strengthening the relationships with your customers. You also need to provide the transparency, access, and collaboration that enable your customers and partners to self serve and self solve and to share with ease.
  • Adapt your business: You need to enable the discipline of agility within your organization and infrastructure so that you can innovate, tailor, and personalize experiences. This needs to be done both reactively from insight and proactively in real time so you can stay ahead of shifting market trends and evolving consumer behaviors.

No longer will the old approaches provide the same returns. To compete, differentiate, and win in a world where the customer has the power, you must execute a strategy that is sure to deliver a better brand experience for your customers.

Note: This is Part 2 in a three-part series. Part 1 is here. Stop back for Part 3 on November 28.

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