I hear a lot about how business has changed; a lot of scaremongering and doomsaying. Business hasn’t changed. It’s still about getting a return on your investment, while giving your customers the best product or service.
Companies are going to end up focusing a lot more on what customers are getting than on the specific technology they’re using.
What has changed is your customer. People are better educated, more sophisticated and more connected to fellow customers. That doesn’t really affect your underlying business, but it does wheedle out those who weren’t offering a good service to begin with. It makes everybody up their game.
So here’s what I predict will happen next.
We’ll see the rise of the Digital Integrator
When you’re going through a digital transformation, the traditional approach is to have separate teams reporting to different members of the C-suite. Your technology providers report to your CIO. Your change management consultants report to your CEO. A digital agency reports to your CMO.
But the way we’ve been working with clients is to build a team reporting to a chief digital officer. This team has the developers, the change manager and a user experience consultant. (The digital agency and technology providers extend this team.) This approach makes sure all the parties working on the digital transformation are aligned and share the same goals. And so, they get the most out of everybody.
User experience consultants will be vital
You’ll need to have someone on your team whose sole job is to imagine they’re in the customer’s shoes – and who forces you to create the best, simplest experience possible.
They’ll be the ones to challenge you and make sure you’re focusing on the customer. They’re the one in the room asking: what value does this add? Tech will come and go, but the approach to meeting your customer’s expectations will stay the same – and these are the people who will keep you focused on that.
We’ll see more virtual assistants and augmented reality
These two technologies are proving popular. Most businesses these days are looking into them in some way or another.
At their heart, both of these technologies are about giving the customer more information, more easily, and more naturally. Virtual assistants can help people remember to pay bills, do tasks, or answer questions.
We naturally want to interact with computers this way. Think about your first instinct when you’re puzzled: you ask someone for help. We’re social creatures. We evolved to talk, not to search through files and folders and pages. We evolved to ask questions and be curious. Virtual assistants finally let us use computers the way our brain prefer.
Similarly, augmented reality focuses on showing us information. We’re visual animals. Most of our brain is dedicated to our sight. Augmented reality lets us see information as though it’s a real, concrete object. And not an abstract concept. This makes it much easier for us to process.
We’ll focus more on customers than technology
Whether it’s augmented reality or appointing a chief digital officer, companies are going to end up focusing a lot more on what customers are getting than on the specific technology they’re using.
New technologies appear at such a fast pace this days. And while we must keep evaluating the new ones and adopting the ones that help our customers, we must not get too hung up on any particular one. Technology is here to support the business and not the other way around. Hence our motto: Spare no effort in giving an effortless customer experience.
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