Many of today’s innovations are the result of new technology. Using technology to serve, support and advise customers can create a positive customer experience. However, understanding how, when and where to apply technology for the better customer experiences can be challenging.
New technology doesn't necessarily serve customers' needs
Big data, RFID, 4G, advanced analytics – and the list goes on. Technological innovations are the foundation of new products and services being developed today. Interestingly, many of these products and services do not meet customers’ expectations, or fail when they are (too) technology driven. Successful products and services address real-life issues, or offer convenience that makes sense to customers.
Evolving technologies lead to complexity - customers seek simplicity
As a result of ever evolving technology, business more often develop new products and services that customers experience as complex. Customers prefer simple. They get frustrated when technology stands in the way of a smooth experience.
The speed of technical innovations frequently exceeds the speed at which businesses can adopt new technologies. IT and engineering professionals have to deliver and maintain ever more complex and interdependent systems and platforms.
Do customers use all features they 'demand'?
Customers want/demand a long list of features and capabilities when deciding on purchasing products or services. Remarkably, research suggests that customers are not willing to pay for all features they desire.
In reality, customers only use a fraction of the technical solutions they purchase. Understanding the core features of your offer – from a customer point-of-view – enables businesses to streamline their products. More importantly, it helps organisations to offer more relevant services to customers.
Is your business ready for handle new technologies?
Introducing more powerful and often more complex systems in a business can stretch the internal resources and capabilities of the organisation. It is important to recognise the ability, readiness and willingness of an organisation to adopt and use new technologies.
Customers notice, or worse, suffer when an organisation is struggling to incorporate a new solution into its operations. Pilots and small trials can prepare a business to deal with a new solution ahead of a public launch – which will be experiences by its customers.
Customer needs vs use
Customers of feature rich technical products such as smartphones, technical household goods and PC software can be very demanding before they buy the product. There is a gap between customers expected use of features vs. their actual use.
In most cases customers’ willingness to pay for (extra) individual features is much lower than the features that are mentioned as ‘required’.
Technology can simplify customers’ experiences
Businesses tend to make the technology and engineering departments responsible for technical solutions in a business or customer domain. By defaulting into technical solutions the business loses sight of the core features customers are after.
Positioning new technology as part of a broader set of tools, including processes and policies, enables organisations to respond better and faster to customer demand. Applied in the right way, technology can reduce complexity of products and services – that otherwise gets in the way of enjoying core features of a product or service.
40 percent of businesses says they will increase investments in customer-facing systems
Move from potential to capability
Most new technologies and technical innovations hold great promise for businesses and their customers. The challenge is converting the potential into actual capability by delivering working products and services into the market.
Most organisations have a strong launch and then fix mentality which can result in expensive failures. Trials and pilots in real-world settings will provide insights into the customer experience and most importantly, understand the impact on the internal organisation.
Services powered by technology
Understanding how, when and where to apply a technology for better customer experiences can make a real difference to your business. Technology should be designed for optimal use, not for exploiting its full technical capabilities. Designing a service around a technology has proven ineffective and expensive. Instead, deploy new technologies around your services. Ultimately customers choose services, not the underlying technology.
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