The concept of customer centric is being turned on its head. Facing ever increasing customer expectations and the arrival of digital disruptors cherry picking the most profitable parts of every business model, growing numbers of organisations are recognising the importance of an ecosystem of partners and suppliers to build new customer engagement models.
New business collaborations and co-operations are appearing in the most unexpected places as organisations wake up to the threat of the digital disruptors and the opportunity presented by new digitally enabled ecosystems.
>See also: Traditional approaches to customer experience need to evolve
A bank experiencing the increasing erosion of its traditional agricultural finance business model is exploring the way-real time machine data provided by state of art farming equipment. From soil quality to moisture, farmer behaviour to equipment usage, this insight can be used to create a raft of new product and service offerings, often in partnership with new fintechs that are, on paper, potentially disruptive competition. In addition to using this data to understand trends in yield, and hence profitability, that may impact a farm’s ability to service loans, real-time data can also feed into commodities trading.
This collaboration of bank, farm equipment manufacturers and fintechs is just a part of what can become – and is becoming – an extended ecosystem focused on one customer. According to a recent study undertaken by IDC on behalf of Axway, organisations are increasingly considering the ecosystem of customers and business partners to be an essential source of innovation.
Almost one third (32%) of large enterprises currently operate a customer experience network (CXN) and another 29% plan to operate CXN by 2020 – with CXN investments delivering measurable business value, from increased revenue streams (68%) to new distribution channels (53%).
What does this mean in practice? How can an organisation create an extended ecosystem that can enable effective collaboration with all the stakeholders in the customer journey? How can every moment in that journey, from experience to product or service, be tied together to deliver a unified experience? And, most importantly, how can the organisation harness the insight from those experiences and interactions and use it to improve business, products and services?
>See also: To improve your customer experience, free your data
With the customer at the centre of this CXN, the fundamental requirement is to break down silos within organisations and open up the business to new stakeholders. Speed and innovation are key – which is why 49% of organisations are leveraging APIs to create the ecosystem and deliver innovation and collaboration.
And that collaboration has to be possible at a developer level: a community of developers that can explore open source technologies and leverage pre-built resources will enable organisations to reduce time to market and embrace the innovation and experimentation that will be key to unlocking new business models, products and services.
From APIs to API lifecycle management, secure integration and embedded analytics that provide end to end visibility of the API performance, a collaborative approach will transform the speed with which organisations can unlock data from cloud and on premise systems, chatbots, IoT and machine learning to deliver new value.
>See also: 4 factors set to impact customer experience management
Customer centric increasingly means putting the customer at the heart of an extended ecosystem. The focus is no longer on pushing products and services out to a customer base but on actively listening to the customer voice, understanding customer sentiment and determining how the ecosystem can improve the customer experience through truly customer centric solutions. With effective co-operation, the CXN enables organisations to build the long term loyalty through continuous, sustainable customer experience that will keep the digital disruptors at bay.
Sourced by Richard Farnworth, UK country manager, Axway