Consumers use technology to their advantage. With it they are less tolerant, less loyal, and more adventurous and they have learned how to exercise control over brands.
In this kind of environment, it’s important to remember that the success of any consumer-facing organization depends on the experience they deliver. Consumers want meaningful, timely, and personalized engagements, and to gain this, businesses need a single view of the customer, and the organization, along with a relationship that goes beyond a single transaction. In order to obtain this view, organizations need to become what is called a Global Connected Enterprise, which means the company is connected throughout every process and operating as one unified system. Here’s what it takes to become a global connected enterprise.
Customer-centricity: The heart of a connected enterprise
New technologies, cloud native applications, and ‘always-on’ connectivity provide the core ingredients companies need to diversify their services and become customer-centric. This demands a truly holistic experience that puts people, not processes, at the forefront of decision making and customer communication.
To operate a connected enterprise, you must consider the following 5 fundamentals:
- Have a single view of customers: The consumer is the boss and can walk away at any time. They determine how they want to interact and demand seamless engagement across all channels. To engage customers, organizations must understand them individually, comprehensively, and consistently at any point in time. Having a complete view of the consumer, with a system like Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement across the business, is the only way to extract actionable data that leads to customer retention.
- Front and back office: To achieve a comprehensive view of each individual customer experience, front-to-back office integration is essential. This requires a unified front office, such as a customer relationship management or customer engagement system, to orchestrate customer journeys that is connected to the back office, such as an ERP system, allowing the organization to manage and deliver throughout those journeys and customer preferences.
Knowing what the customer wants, when the customer wants it, and being able to deliver it by having in-the-moment insights to inventory will create a holistic experience for customers.
- Optimized for machine learning and IoT: Machine learning can analyze data at speed and make predictions that guide the strategy of human teams. Combining machine learning and Internet of things (IoT) data with insights from other applications allows businesses to build a 360-degree customer view, thereby making it easier to tailor experiences to customer needs.
- Data from supply and demand: A unified supply and demand overview enables companies to better understand, analyze, manage, and respond to variability within their supply chains. To achieve this, businesses must have in place real-time supply chain planning solutions that take advantage of analytics, what-if simulation, alerts, and more. This will also help them better respond to ever-developing market expectations so that customers are never left wanting.
- Unified cloud: By having a unified suite of cloud solutions, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, businesses can manage customer experiences based on one trusted customer data model, which integrates all the above. It provides the ability to deliver customer-centric processes and better outcomes, which will in turn build customer trust and loyalty.
The consumer-driven growth revolution will require all businesses to change. Only those organizations who run a connected enterprise will be prepared to face the future of commerce. Ready to get started or have questions about the implementation process? Contact us, we’d be happy to chat.
Author: Doug Bulla, VP of Business DevelopmentOther articles you might be interested in: