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Making the customer experience digital

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08 November 2016

Rehan Khan

Blogs by author: Rehan Khan, Regional Consulting Director MENA, BT.

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Digital transformation is high on the agenda of many organisations. But what does it mean to customers? Rehan Khan, our Regional Consulting Director in MENA, talks us through it.

If you feel overwhelmed with talk about digitalisation, you’re not alone. According to BT research, every CIO considers the digitalisation of their business to be a personal priority. But 65 per cent of companies say their infrastructure is struggling to support the rapid adoption of digital technology. So how do you manage this? Where do you begin, when digital can encompass the entire organisation?

Get to grips with digital transformation.

MIT Sloan* suggests focussing on three areas: customer engagement, digitised solutions and the operational backbone. These align to the three aspects of BT’s digital model – the digital customer, the digital business and the digital employee.

I’ll focus here on customer engagement (the digital customer) — as we’re all concerned about how digital technologies will impact the way we connect with our customers.

Using technology to create a meaningful customer experience.

Customer engagement is about interacting with customers in more meaningful ways by providing convenient, hassle-free transactions. It’s about delivering an experience to support their buying decisions — particularly in an age when there is so much choice.

Making customer enquiry, purchase, and service touchpoints easier through the use of digital technologies should be your priority. If a digital technology reduces the effort a customer has to expend when dealing with your organisation, then it’s worth implementing.

Digital transformation in the real world.

Take the American retailer Nordstrom, Inc., which has introduced a series of digital innovations designed to enhance the customer experience. Its digitalisation journey made great strides in making life easier for its customers with the introduction of its mobile app in 2011. This was soon followed by mobile checkout at Nordstrom Rack stores and Like2Buy (Nordstrom’s Instagram shop). And now Nordstrom’s salespeople are equipped with devices that give them detailed customer and inventory information — helping them learn what individual customers want, so that they can source it.

Creating our own digital experience.

Recently, BT created a digitised experience of its own with the Alexander Black concept store. In it, technologies like digital signage, Bluetooth beacons and radio-frequency readers for tracking inventory around the store, are all used to create a smooth, simple, easy experience for shoppers.

Transformation isn’t restricted to retail.

But digital customer engagement is not restricted to retail. Big Ass, a company that makes ceiling fans, has started using technology which automatically detects when a person enters a room, and can regulate fan speed based on the temperature and humidity.

And Medtronic — a global healthcare technology provider — has developed a digital blood-glucose meter, which inserts a sensor under the patient's skin to measure glucose levels in tissue fluid. It’s wirelessly connected to a device that alerts patients and clinicians up to 30 minutes before a patient reaches a threshold blood-glucose level, so action can be taken.

Make life easier for your customers, today.

Digitalisation is changing business and the way we engage with customers. However, the choice of which digital technology to implement and where to invest and focus, must be driven by the desire to make things easier for customers.

BT can help you embrace your digital transformation and make it possible — visit our website for more information.

*J. W. Ross, I. Sebastian, and N. O. Fonstad “Define Your Digital Strategy – Now,” MIT Sloan Research Briefing, 6 June 2015, Volume XV, Number 6