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3 May 2018 | Ricky Chau, Vice President, Enterprise, Asia Pacific
Lazada, Grab, WeChat. These are some brands in the region that have become immensely popular. It all lies in their total focus on customer experience. Today, customer experience has become the key differentiator. Here’s what enterprises need to do to deliver great customer experiences and win the digital race.
Digital tools have put customers in the driver’s seat. It is no secret that one bad experience with a brand is all it takes for customers to switch to a competitor’s brand, even if the latter costs more. This highlights the importance of delivering great customer experiences across all touchpoints to attract new customers and retain customer loyalty. Businesses in Asia Pacific are aware of this, with 44 percent of those surveyed by 451 Research last year citing improving customer experience as their number one driver for digital transformation.
The race to provide good customer experience will drive the adoption of new technologies, such as AI chatbots and mobile apps, as they hold the promise of elevating the customer experience. However, the efficacy of these new technologies is highly dependent on reliability of their IT infrastructure and specifically, their network connectivity. Case in point: when customers in several Southeast Asian countries were unable to use Grab’s mobile app to book a ride as the app was unable to connect to its server, it resulted in customer dissatisfaction.
Similarly, the world of eSports requires high network capacity and availability. For instance, consumers will need a persistent internet connection to play the popular battle royale shooter game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), on their devices. The industry is forecasted to garner US$906 million in total revenue globally this year, with China and South Korea expected to contribute to a quarter of that figure. Since a poor connection may lead to failed game downloads, it hinders a game publisher’s ability to acquire new customers and tap into the industry's growth.
According to a Gartner study, 81 percent of marketing leaders globally said that their companies would be competing mostly or completely on the basis of customer experience by 2019. To lead in such a business landscape, here are some trends organizations need to take note of in their strategies to deliver positive customer experiences:
Advancements in technology have no doubt opened up more channels for customers to interact with businesses. Take the financial services sector for example. IDC predicts that 86 percent of financial services consumers in Asia Pacific will be active on digital channels. However, more than eight in 10 banks in the region are delivering inconsistent and unpredictable omnichannel customer experience.
Great service across channels have also become a key priority for CenturyLink, especially after the Level 3 Communications acquisition. To ensure we deliver on customer promises holistically, we have made integration one of our major focus areas this year; we are continuously integrating our sales, operations and service teams, as well as rationalizing our product and services portfolio. By doing so, we will be able to offer customers a clearer view of the necessary tools to support their digital transformation, as well as empower our workforce to continue delivering a good customer experience.
Digital disruptions are inevitable today, and businesses need to be flexible and agile to quickly respond to customer demands and remain competitive. This calls for the adoption of cloud solutions to improve scalability, as well as the need for reliable networks, systems, and infrastructure. Reliable networks are especially important for organizations running on multiple clouds as the benefits of multi-cloud can only be harnessed if the organization can connect at speed and without failure across diverse environments.
The importance of reliable networks is important in fast-paced industries like financial services. Take the case of a European bank in Singapore. By addressing network complexities as well as relying on a dependable storage area network (SAN) and fiber connection, the bank managed to migrate more than 300 critical systems to another data center in less than three months. Moreover, the systems faced downtime of less than 24 hours for each migration process, minimizing the negative impact on customer experience.
Improving customer experience is a massive undertaking as it requires transformation on both the front-end and back-end operations. Organizations can alleviate their IT team’s workload by turning to third-party partners such as hybrid IT solutions providers, cloud providers, and system integrators. Since such partners can help augment existing capabilities, take on commoditized work, and provide guidance on digital experience delivery best practices, it enables IT teams to become strategic enablers of the business by focusing on critical tasks that drive business growth instead of focusing on routine operations.
With the rise of digitally-empowered end users, customer experience will overtake pricing as the key brand differentiator. Only organizations that delight customers and make them feel valued will be able to gain their loyalty and lead the digital race.
Learn how you can enrich your customer experiences today!
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