The fundamental laws of the buyer-seller relationship have existed for millennia – and have remained the same even as people’s behaviors evolved with the arrival of unified language, currency, advertising, mass production, big-box retailers, and catalog sales. Yet nothing could have prepared the world for the dramatic pace and constant change that digital technology brings to the customer experience.
But don’t throw out the customer experience rulebook quite yet.
In fact, the same basic human needs that have always governed how people buy still apply. The only difference is the deepening of customer expectations as technology advancements fuel demand for more individualized products, faster delivery, unfettered access and convenience, ethical practices, 24/7 support, and the realization of outcomes precisely as promised.
Rechanneling the Power of the Customer Experience
Customers are no longer content to be mere recipients of goods and services. They want to be willing participants of a brand experience that listens to them and responds to their needs without delay.
Many businesses may think that this new world order of the customer experience is easier said than done. However, if they accomplish five key objectives, it can be easier than they think:
- Connect all moments of a customer’s journey to build a relationship that can attract, engage, and retain them
- Build customer profiles powered by trustworthy data that is private and protected
- Respond to the need of the customer and interact with them in real time
- Consolidate siloed views, processes, and customer data scattered across every line of business onto a single platform to create a trove of 360-degree insight into the customer
- Create a system of insight that provides transparency and ensures ethical and sustainable business practices while delivering on the brand promise to customers
Such a realization inspired Bentley Systems, for example, to implement a next-generation portfolio of customer experience solutions that helps facilitate real-time engagement across sales, service, marketing, commerce, and beyond. With access to insight-driven recommendations, a tailored learning strategy, and change management guidance, the provider of infrastructure and engineering software acquired analytical and machine learning capabilities that provide substantial competitive differentiation while protecting its investment in the cloud.
This approach allowed Bentley Systems to move fast, connect moments, and build trust at every stage of its customer engagements with:
- Seamless, omnichannel customer experiences that convert anonymous visitors into loyal brand advocates
- Personalized, trusted marketing interactions, leading to ongoing relationships and increasing demand, revenue, and growth
- Guided representatives, managed territories, and modeled incentives, which help accelerate sales cycles
- Unified service interactions supported by self-services for customers and agents and documented to build a collaborative trove of customer feedback and insights
Bentley Systems’ story is certainly a testament to the power of the customer experience when traditional rules are viewed through a different lens of unity, trust, personalization, collaboration, and guided self-services. And it is one of many other customers set to share their success at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference.
If you are planning to attend the event, visit the Services and Support Pavilion located in the Customer Experience Neighborhood. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with peers, learn from SAP experts, and gain insights that can set your business on a fast, low-risk, and transformational pathway to long-term business growth.
Christina Hamilton is global director of SAP Preferred Success Sales Development.