Customers Rule in the Digital Era

Blog /Customers Rule in the Digital Era
NTT DATA Services SAP Advisor Blog Post

Who’s in control here? (The customer!)

Today’s digital era underscores the essential and indisputable role disruptive technology now plays in business success. While none would argue that digital excellence equates to the masterful utilization of cloud, mobile, social and big data technologies across all areas of business, an exclusive focus on technology misses the very heart of what digital is meant to transform.

At its core, digitalization is about much more than wielding the latest technology. It’s about capitalizing on the relationship between technology and customer behavior, and leveraging disruptive technologies to close the gap between businesses and their customers.

Consumers freely turn over volumes of personal data. The return implied is an immersive experience painstakingly accrued over numerous, consistent, accurate, high-quality interactions across all touch points.

In today’s digital era, the customer is firmly in control. They choose with whom they’d like to do business, what they want to buy and when, and how they want to interact with your company. Businesses who fail to effectively leverage UX design, social, mobile and big data to provide a personalized, immersive experience are not long for this world. 

Omni-channel excellence needed

To provide a truly, immersive consumer experience requires trolling oceans of data to make spot-on, real-time decisions. There’s also the formidable challenge of interacting with the consumer in the context of his or her world, via the device in hand, at the perfect moment in time.

Seamless omni-channel capabilities are a prerequisite for providing an immersive consumer experience, and while retailers — B2C and B2B — have worked mightily over the past decade bolstering their omni-channel presence, much work remains.

Clearly, consumer expectations have risen. The status quo is no longer sufficient. Consumers crave immersion, in their world, not the world as defined by traditional commerce. They want to participate with a brand that knows them, shares their values, and makes transacting business a natural activity, one that is as engaging as it is helpful, as enjoyable as it is practical, as honest and safe as it is easy, memorable and fun. Consumers crave interactions that are both effortless and satisfying.

The high cost of a bad consumer experience

Contrary to popular opinion, the greatest threat of disruption comes not from established competitors investing in technology. Nor does it come from pure-play online businesses or new, niche-product players.

No. The biggest threat comes directly from consumers, specifically, from consumers dissatisfied with the sub-par experience a company provides.

More than ever before, consumers have grown accustomed to trading privacy for convenience, and the slightest disconnect between consumer expectation and your company’s ability to deliver means not simply losing a one-off sale but possibly losing a customer (or segment of customers) for life.

This is particularly true for millennials and younger generations who present all-or-nothing stakes for retailers. While more accepting of privacy trade-offs than past generations, younger consumers are also more demanding.

Having grown up hyper-connected, environmentally conscious, and digitally savvy, they crave interactions that are both effortless and satisfying, putting companies on notice — get it right every time across every channel or face death by a million, negative social-media impressions.

Here’s just a small sample of the high price you’ll pay for a bad customer experience:

  • 47% of customers would take their business to a competitor within a day of experiencing poor customer service (24/7)
  • 60% of consumers have not completed an intended purchase based on a poor customer service experience. (BI Intelligence)
  • It takes 12 positive customer experiences to negate the poor impression left behind from one unresolved, bad experience (BI Intelligence)
  • Only 15% of shoppers would give a brand or product a second chance after a poor experience (InReality)
  • Only 27% of shoppers would give a physical store a second chance after a poor interaction (InReality)

CRM, an absolute must have

The cost to acquire a new customer is always 10 to 20 times more than retaining an existing one, which is why in today’s competitive digital era, smart businesses do all they can to demonstrate their appreciation for every existing customer. This is reflected in the exponential growth of CRM technology and its adoption, which has become a staple in all business verticals.

The global CRM market has been growing at a phenomenal pace over the past few years. According to Forbes, one leading analyst firm reports that the CRM software market reached $26.3B in 2015, with an annual growth of nearly 14% between 2010 and 2015, and is expected to cross $36 billion by the end of 2017.

Salesforce’s CRM dominance

On the verge of topping $10 billion in revenue this fiscal year, is the clear leader in CRM. What’s more, the SaaS pioneer shows no signs of slowing. Salesforce’s market share in the CRM space has continued to grow at an impressive rate over the past few years, to just above 21% in 2016, as reported in Forbes. While the overall CRM market has grown at a CAGR of nearly 13% since 2011, Salesforce’s cloud-based CRM revenues have grown at over 26%, according to Forbes.

According to Byron Deeters’ State of the Cloud Report 2015 from Bessemer Venture Partners, by 2018, 62% of all CRM software will be cloud-based, with Salesforce solidifying its market leadership position.

CRM technologies support four key enterprise capabilities: SFA, customer service and support, digital commerce and marketing automation. Salesforce solutions span these capabilities and more, enabling businesses of all sizes and across industries to better connect with customers and cement loyalty.

CRM/Salesforce experience counts

As a recognized "Leader" in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for CRM and CX Services, Worldwide, and one of only 10 Salesforce Global Strategic Partners in the world, NTT DATA is passionate about helping our customers attract and retain today’s digitally-connected customers.

Gartner rated NTT DATA as a ‘Leader’ in its Magic Quadrant for CRM and CX Implementation Services because of our global capability around Salesforce, our technical skills in Salesforce as well as multi-vendor IT, and the investments we’ve made in developing industry-focused solutions around Salesforce.

Over 15+ years we’ve successfully completed more than 3,000 Salesforce projects.

To help you better understand the challenges your customers face when doing business with your organization, NTT DATA offers a comprehensive Customer Friction FactorSM (CFFSM) service. Our CFF service takes a 360° view of the customer journey and, in a matter of weeks, provides detailed insight into interactions that negatively impact your customer’s experience. We also provide comparisons against your competitors and identify actionable opportunities to reduce customer friction and increase customer loyalty.

CRM is both vast and complex. One-off projects amount to little more than paying lip service to customer-centricity. In the end, only seamless integration of myriad technologies — connecting core systems to all customer touch points — will have a lasting and positive impact on the customer experience and, ultimately, the success of your business.

Large projects that cost millions of dollars and take years to complete are a thing of the past. To win at CRM requires continuous development and enhancement across your solution(s) landscape, with speed, flexibility, accountability and value serving as guiding principles. To support this effort, NTT DATA has introduced a new Time to Value application framework for implementing and enhancing enterprise applications such as CRM.

The Time to Value framework consists of four predefined and standardized 11-week segments: Design, Integrate, Refine and Release. Each segment is managed through an agile-like, self-contained process focused on desired outcomes, such as speed, scale, flexibility or verification. The segments can be organized in any order and may overlap or run sequentially. The end result is your CRM journey moves forward faster with less risk and verified results.

Contact NTT DATA today to learn more about how our Salesforce expertise and Time to Value framework can accelerate your CRM journey.

Or schedule a meeting with NTT DATA at Dreamforce 2017.

Post Date: 10/18/2017

Bennett Indart_2 Bennett Indart

About the author

Bennett Indart is a senior vice president in the Enterprise Applications Services (EAS) Business Unit at NTT DATA Services, a Global IT Innovator delivering technology-enabled digital business services and solutions to clients around the world. His responsibilities include overall strategy and management of the EAS solution delivery services portfolio, including driving NTT DATA’s Solution Delivery Strategy, capitalizing on emerging trends, growing strategic partnerships and evangelizing leadership positions in Enterprise Applications Services globally. Bennett is also tasked with driving operational efficiencies and governance internally as the EAS Business Unit continues to scale in both revenue and resources.