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4 Disciplines to Put Organisations on the Path to Customer Centricity

4 Disciplines to Put Organisations on the Path to Customer Centricity

Not all digital transformation projects deliver their targeted outcomes. Here’s what you can do to ensure your project transforms customer experiences.

Most companies understand the key to growth is strong relationships with their customers. In fact, the drive towards customer centricity is at the forefront of many digital transformations.

Unfortunately, not all transformation projects deliver their targeted outcomes. We often see this when digital transformation gets treated as a ‘renovation’. In other words, companies simply digitise processes instead of thinking about how to evolve them. Digital transformations of this kind may deliver incremental improvements in efficiency or service. However, they fall short of transforming the customer experience. 

To make customer centricity and growth a reality, companies need to shift their focus from renovate to evolve. Here, we share four disciplines that can help.

1. Customer-centric business processes

Many companies grew up in an era when success was product-centric and the only way to scale was through standardisation. However, today’s customers demand personalisation and are rewriting the rules of success. 

To truly evolve, companies need to pivot from product-centric processes that drive internal productivity to customer-centric processes that enable more connected and personalised experiences. A great example of a company that reimagined itself and moved from product to customer-centric processes is M1 in Singapore.

Personalisation is at the heart of M1’s transformation. The dynamic digital network operator has brought many innovations to the Singapore market and now seeks to set a new standard for what a digital experience looks like in its industry.

As part of this, M1 is using Salesforce to connect different touchpoints and provide customers with personalised experiences, no matter which blend of channels they use. 

“At M1, our new brand and promise of providing hyper-personalised experiences and services for our customers is supported by our digital transformation. With our partners, we want to focus on building an innovative and forward-looking technology infrastructure to keep M1 at the forefront of building Singapore’s digital economy while driving real value to our customers,” said Nathan Bell, Chief Digital Officer, M1.

2. One team aligned around the customer

To deliver exceptional customer experiences, companies need to align themselves around customer needs. This requires abandoning the organisational structures inherited from the early 20th century. Then, there were rigid divisions between functions like sales, service, marketing, and production.

Now, however, companies benefit from more flexible, flatter team structures. Shared metrics for success and tools for cross-functional collaboration are also important.

A ‘one team’ approach sometimes includes mobilising partners to create a frictionless customer experience. These partners could include technology partners, service providers, channel partners, and any others in an organisation’s ecosystem that can have an impact on the customer experience.

3. Leanest possible technology stack

Achieving the leanest possible technology stack is an important part of any successful transformation as it reduces time and costs spent ‘keeping the lights on’ and increases the capacity to innovate. 

CRM plays an increasingly central role in this stack as it supports the delivery of more personalised customer experiences. Additionally, as companies look to evolve and future-proof their technology stack, there’s a shift towards using APIs and low-code tech for efficient integration.

4. Sense and respond

Putting the previous three disciplines into place provides an incredible foundation for customer centricity, but it is not quite enough.  

The problem is that customers’ needs, expectations, and behaviour are changing faster than ever. Companies need to sense and respond to these changes in near real-time. Otherwise, they risk falling behind their more agile competitors. This requires a shift in organisational culture and increased transparency of data.

Unlocking new customer insights was a core component of AXA Singapore’s digital transformation. Driven to become the world’s best digital insurer, AXA Singapore has developed a digital ecosystem, spanning sales, service, and marketing. Salesforce is one of the building blocks of this ecosystem and provides a single view of the customer throughout. 

“With Salesforce, we have more insight into our customers and can personalise and automate touch points like email and SMS,” said Tomasz Kurczyk, Chief Transformation and Digital Officer, at AXA Singapore. “If a customer purchases single trip travel insurance, for example, we can send an email after their trip to welcome them back and remind them how to submit a claim. We can also promote other products and the MyAXA app, our self-serve one stop shop for customers.”

Getting started on the journey

Digital transformation can mean different things to different companies and encompass initiatives both big and small. 

What is useful about these four disciplines is that they can be applied universally to ensure a customer-centric result. They can also set the stage for the next level of transformation—transcend—where companies can create entirely new value chains.

To learn more or get started on your transformation journey, check out our advisory services.

Pierce Quek

Pierce is Regional Vice President, Professional Services at Salesforce, based in Singapore. Connect with him on LinkedIn. 

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