In some recent preliminary research, Ovum has found that 90 per cent of organizations are at risk of becoming irrelevant to their customers unless they learn to adapt faster and in ways customers value.
While this research applies to all industries, it’s particularly relevant to retailers. Many mid-size to large retailers have invested in CRM systems and loyalty programs — but to what end? You probably have a pile of loyalty cards in your wallet but don’t feel like those retailers “know” who you are.
That’s why we’re moving beyond CRM to what Ovum calls the customer adaptive enterprise (CAE).
According to Ovum, there are eight core attributes of CAE that will help organizations stay relevant (and persistently relevant) to customers:
- workforce engagement
- sensing capabilities
- customer experience
- process integration
- enterprise architecture.
But organizations also scored an average of 52 per cent across these attributes — a barely passing grade.
Ovum says technology is not at the core of CAE — it’s strategy, it’s culture, it’s attitude. But, of course, technology is a key enabler. This means adding new capabilities while integrating existing apps, such as real-time customer intelligence and analytics, said Carter Lusher, research fellow and chief analyst of the enterprise applications ecosystem with Ovum, in a recent webinar.
We’re also starting to see new tools that can help retailers understand how customers are adopting (or not adopting) their apps — and find ways to encourage those customers to engage across multiple touch points. Omni-channel retailing is becoming a best practice influencing this entire sector.
While most organizations are barely making the grade, Ovum says those that display a high degree of successful orchestration across all eight attributes “are considered leaders in their field, have exemplary customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as faster growth than their peers.”
CAE requires solid leadership, backed by solid technology — and retailers may need a third-party provider to help them get there, as well as support across the C-level suite.
Just don’t let technology be a hammer; it should be a toolbox that helps you look at customer service in a new way.
Image courtesy of njaj at FreeDigitalPhotos.net