What is a connected customer enterprise and how can it impact customer engagement/customer experience/customer loyalty efforts for any company?
Loyalty360 posed that question, among others, to Duncan Avis, a principal in KPMG’s Advisory Customer Solutions practice.
Can you talk about what it means to have a “connected” customer enterprise and how does that impact a company’s customer loyalty/customer engagement initiatives?
Avis: High-performing organizations recognize that to become truly customer-centric—and deliver experiences that create value for both the customer and the company—they need to get connected. This means connecting to their customers with compelling value propositions, opportunities, and interactions. It also means connecting their front, middle, and back offices to execute the customer growth agenda effectively and efficiently, while also connecting their channel and business partners to jointly deliver on commitments to customers. Lastly, it means staying connected to market dynamics and digital signals.
Omnichannel is a priority for many loyalty marketers, but why hasn’t it shown greater ROI for those companies?
Avis: Organizations are investing record amounts in customer related initiatives, but not all are seeing a credible return on investment. Our research shows that organizations that are getting acceptable returns are between 30-40 percent. Organizations need to understand how to strike the right balance between what customers expect and what financially makes sense for the company to deliver.
Businesses must put the customer at the center and elevate customer experience as a competitive differentiator. However, the ability to consistently align the experience expectations with experience delivery has proven a critical and enduring challenge. This struggle is primarily because too many organizations are focused on solving their front-office issues without aligning their middle and back offices. They’re facing obstacles like customer data that’s buried in different business units, products and pricing that vary across channels, and supply chains that can’t meet the commitments made to customers.
What are loyalty marketers doing well when it comes to omnichannel and where do the challenges lie?
Avis: Enterprises are now “checking the box” when it comes to offering “omni” capabilities, deploying a series of multichannel tactics disguised as a strategy. But these tactics are incomplete, as they fail to address a true Connected Enterprise that delivers an integrated brand experience, seamless customer interactions across all touch points, a holistic product strategy, and a connected staff. The complexity of a true Connected Enterprise is staggering, and businesses need to leverage new digital technologies to transform their people, processes, and systems to work seamlessly together to unlock new value for customers, employees, and shareholders.
How can loyalty marketers go about properly aligning their people, operations, systems, and processes around the customer to capture more business value?
Avis: According to our research, high-performing organizations are getting connected by making significant investments across eight connected enterprise capabilities—and to a greater degree than less mature organizations. These connected enterprises can understand what customers need and value, and they deliver it by executing the intended experience—profitably. They also have the responsiveness and resiliency to do so consistently, while continuing to evolve with the changing consumer and competitive landscape.
What do you see for the future of the “connected” customer enterprise?
Avis: Many organizations haven’t even made the journey to connected yet, so the future is a bit difficult to say.
We believe that, in the future, successful organizations will have evolved largely to a capability-based operating model where they have made and continue to make a significant investment in eight core capabilities. They have broken down the silos of product, marketing, sale, service, etc. and are laser-focused on providing unique and valuable experiences to consumers in a thoughtful, deliberate, and profitable way.
The capability-based organization will allow them to more rapidly react to changes in consumer expectations, the economic environment, and competitive pressures. The continued acceleration of technology, including AI (artificial intelligence), will allow these agile organizations to make rapid, accurate decisions and point their capabilities at solving new and evolving market opportunities. Lastly, from the most senior executives down, the organization will be aligned and compensated to delivering experiences where they truly understand and manage the value exchange between themselves and their consumers.