Let the customer be our compass

Sayings like "the customer is always right" have had their day. Strategies that force the customer to adapt to particular technologies are similarly outdated. Today it's more about flexibility and agility: we need to emphasize staying on top of changing customer needs and using a collaborative process to bring their visions to life.

In order to make a difference, we as companies must change our way of doing business. We need to adapt to the needs of the market and especially to the dynamic needs of our customers. If we want to revolutionize the customer experience, we need to create meaningful moments that become memorable experiences and lay the foundation for long-lasting relationships.

Customer needs lead the way

In the past, many companies – Orange Business Services included – adopted a bottom-up technology strategy in which the network was the key player. This attitude has completely changed in recent years. As Steve Jobs once put it, "You've got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology – not the other way round."

Today, we should see the customer as a compass who guides us in the right direction and tells us how to adjust our sail so that we can quickly navigate out of the storm. We need to listen to our customers and be flexible enough to respond to their individual needs – something that requires suitable processes as well as data and content that are oriented towards actual customer requirements. The magic term here is hyper-personalized customer experience management.

The concept of total experience (TX) even goes one step further: it combines the disciplines of customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), user experience (UX) and multi-experience (MX). This business strategy, which integrates all experiences of all stakeholders, can increase customer satisfaction and employee loyalty to the company, ultimately improving revenue and profits.

With our incubation strategy or “think tank,” we create and co-innovate the future together with our customers. To be successful, we need to know the customer well, understand their goals and support them in developing their visions. This can only work in an agile partnership where all parties trust each other.

The digital workplace

The basis for successful teamwork is the digital workplace: an integrated technology framework designed to deliver and manage app, data and desktop delivery. Employees can access their applications and data in real time on any device, from any location, regardless of whether the information is stored on cloud services or in a data center. This provides end users and IT teams with an experience that is unified, contextual and secure.

The digital workplace also offers a superior employee experience. What’s more, it provides greater security and data protection through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, in addition to single sign on access to all applications. This makes it easier for companies to move to the cloud and adopt new technologies.

Augmented reality and smart factories

A shift to augmented customer experience via augmented reality (AR) is transforming the way marketers and businesses interact with their customers. New AR technologies are better at engaging consumers at the intersection of digital and physical reality and can take the shopping experience to a new level. The ETH spin-off Animatico, for example, combines AI with AR and enhances the customer experience with a virtual assistant that provides support when shopping for wine. The possibilities of augmented and virtual reality are almost inexhaustible – be it virtual and interactive tours of rooms and facilities or AR applications for company and product presentations.

Data, data, data

All these technologies and solutions generate an enormous amount of data – data that belongs to customers and no one else. This data not only needs to be leveraged, but its value also needs to be preserved, secured and protected. We refer to this as trusted data, and our next blog post will explore how it can be combined with data analytics to boost business.

Find out more on delivering exceptional customer experience here.

Martin Kull
Martin Kull

Martin Kull, Managing Director, Alpine and Eastern Europe at Orange Business Services, brings a wealth of experience and industry knowledge in digital transformation, leading IT and communication solutions, cloud software, mobility services and security. His strengths in leadership, team building, development and change, along with his focus on a strong partner eco-system, are manifested in flexible, action-oriented results. In his free time, he is an excellent cook and enjoys sailing and skiing.