In the digital era, customers’ preferences are turning into expectations. They no longer buy a product or service solely on its own merits. They also base the decision on the quality of the entire experience of selecting, obtaining and using those offerings. And, thanks to the social channels, they can make or break the reputation of a brand at the click on a mouse. As consumers, people have become more accustomed to specifying, ordering, receiving, rating and modifying products of all types, and from just about anywhere with any type of device. And now the expectations they’ve developed in the consumer marketplace are carrying over into their workplaces.
To investigate this in depth, the IBM Center for Applied Insights conducted a comprehensive study* of senior Operations leaders globally.
The research findings show that the need to serve a great customer experience is capturing the attention of COOs and other operations executives, whose focus is now expanding from the traditional areas of cost-saving and efficiency to actively supporting top-line growth, as well. They are aggressively acting on opportunities to differentiate their companies by providing customers with experiences that are instant, seamless and insightful.
Like everyone, Operations executives are finding themselves in an increasingly impatient world. Customers want information and service delivered at near real time or better. This means automating not only your processes, but also decisions, analytics, content, data and reporting. Operations teams are responding, and in many cases, eliminating delays by making customers part of the new processes. For example, customers are now enabled to open accounts on their own and at their leisure.
Despite more and more of customers’ experiences with a company being based on distinct, dispersed technologies and multiple channels, customers have come to expect each of their dealings to be easy and unified. This implies that systems, data and processes are interconnected so that each customer is served consistently across various touch points and at every interaction. The idea is to make complexity and change invisible to the customer with a seamless experience.
Customers expect to be served in more targeted, meaningful ways and COOs are increasingly leading the way in turning data into insights that drive revenue. Unprecedented amounts of customer and contextual data are available today, much of it containing a wealth of information capable of improving the customer experience. By bolstering analytics capabilities, enterprises can churn massive amounts of big data in near real time and use both customer and contextual data to inform their processes.
For more insights and quotes from the Operations leaders on the importance and ways of serving a great customer experience towards ensuring growth for their organizations, take a glimpse at this highly visual whitepaper.
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*To get a first-hand perspective on how Operations leaders are addressing the challenge of serving empowered, digitally savvy customers, the IBM Center for Applied Insights conducted extensive interviews with senior executives in Healthcare, Banking/Financial Services, Insurance, Energy and Utilities, Travel and Transportation, Telecommunications, and other industries across the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Australia and Brazil.