The new business battlefield

Today, end-customers are only loyal to a perfect total experience, writes Cameron Beveridge, Regional Director of SAP Southern Africa.

Until recently, it was nearly impossible to prove the business impact of customer experience through quantifiable data. Part of the issue was confusion around measures, metrics and value – all of which contribute to the success of customer experience initiatives.

The underlying technologies that enable positive, seamless customer experiences were introduced to companies through an at-times painful process of digital transformation. A wave of digital transformation that has swept across industries globally over the past decade left in its wake a new generation of modern, nimble, effective and customer-centric organisations. If you think of digital transformation as only a buzzword, consider this: cumulative spending on digital transformation will reach US$2.1-trillion this year, according to an Industrial Development Corporation study.

Today, digitally transformed organisations are extending their evolution to becoming intelligent enterprises. Intelligent enterprises operate with visibility, focus and agility to deliver best-in-class customer experiences.

Using technology, intelligent enterprises collect and connect previously disparate data to uncover hidden patterns, direct scarce resources to areas of maximum impact, and respond quicker to changes and opportunities in their markets.

Data is the key: customers want to enjoy experiences that are tuned to their needs and expectations throughout their engagement with a brand. They want value-driven outcomes that are delivered via a harmonised experience; in other words, they want to gain something from their interactions with a brand or organisation, and they want those interactions to be consistently good. Really great brands make those interactions memorable too, prompting positive word-of-mouth.