Do you think customer experience (CX) is only a secondary factor in the success of your business? That it’s really about the right products and attractive pricing to beat the competition? Then you should think again. CX is much more than a nice-to-have – it is a vital competitive factor. Why? Because customers remain loyal to a brand when they feel they are in good hands. To give them this feeling, digitalization is crucial.
When the CX is right, product features and cost structures become secondary. In fact, a study by SAS found that 48 percent of people in Germany would pay more if they are satisfied with a provider’s CX. Conversely, poor CX quickly leads to declining sales: according to SAS, 30 percent of Germans turn away from a company after just one bad experience. The good news is that with the right technology and the right partner, you can improve CX quickly and sustainably – while streamlining internal processes and increasing efficiency.
What characterizes a successful customer experience? The answer to this question is multifaceted, because CX itself has numerous facets. A supplier in the automotive industry, for example, can digitalize its own supply chain and implement tracking solutions, both in the warehouse and during delivery. Customers will enjoy full transparency because they can see the location and status of ordered goods at any time. The supplier, in turn, has an ideal overview of its own warehouse capacity; can make ideal use of available storage space, streamline logistic processes, and save costs as a result. Another example is the implementation of a cloud-based CRM system, e.g., in companies in the financial, public, or health sector. Since these companies rely heavily on direct contact with many (end) customers, merging customer-related data in one system allows them to respond precisely to individual needs. Internally, this approach supports agents to work more efficiently as they have access to the same data.
Another option is to collect and analyze customer data – ideally with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) – and then take measures to optimize CX. For example, if a customer orders spare parts for a machine from a manufacturing company at regular intervals because its wear and tear occurs at a predictable rate, this purchasing behavior can be identified in corresponding data. The supplier can then ensure that the parts are in stock just before they are needed, rather than waiting to receive an order. The result? The customer receives the products on time and without waiting; the manufacturer, in turn, can optimize its production processes and work more efficiently. This can also have a positive impact on business relationships with suppliers and other partners, as they benefit in a similar way from greater planning reliability.
Now that we know why a good customer experience is so important and what it can look like, how can you put this into practice within your business? One thing is the same across almost all industries: customers expect customized and prompt solutions to their needs. Your company needs to be able to respond quickly to market changes. To do this, it’s essential that you harness the power of digital tools such as CRM or tracking systems and the potential of real-time data analytics. The key to success is the cloud – and the digital technologies that can be leveraged with its help.
Think of the cloud as the foundation for your digital transformation and future success. Firstly, it is used to bring together data from different sources and give all departments access to up-to-date information – even across different companies. Along a supply chain in the automotive sector, for example, companies can exchange data on the production and delivery status of parts and align their own processes accordingly. Within a company, meanwhile, employees in production can see exactly which parts are still in stock and optimally plan their further work steps. In this way, the cloud can help process customer enquiries better and faster, or prevent delivery bottlenecks. By migrating their IT landscape to the cloud, companies can improve data exchange within their business – which in itself is a central factor in enabling successful CX.
If you also connect your customers to the cloud, you can offer them additional services that optimize CX. Predictive maintenance is a good example of this: if a machine manufacturer equips his machines with IoT technology and networks them via the cloud, he can inform his customers who use the machines about upcoming maintenance at an early stage. On the one hand, this minimizes downtime for the customer, and on the other, suppliers can open up additional business models and increase their sales.
The cloud is also your springboard for using innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). In (intra-)logistics, AR can optimize picking, for example: when employees wear data glasses in the warehouse, they wirelessly receive all important information about requested products. This makes their day-to-day work easier – not least because they have both hands free. As well as making them more comfortable, it makes them more efficient – so orders can be processed more quickly, making customers happier. Another scenario is the use of AI in the healthcare sector. Here, smart algorithms can evaluate X-ray images and automatically detect tumors. And while sustainability is becoming more relevant for companies and customers, the cloud can help here, too: It can provide shared IT resources, so companies need less energy-hungry infrastructure on-premise, therefore contributing to a sustainable future.
If you want to leverage the potential of the cloud and sustainably improve CX, you need a partner who supports you from the start; who brings technical expertise as well as experience and has a strong partner network. At T-Systems, we are experts for complex transformation projects. Three core elements help you achieve success. First, our Cloud Migration Framework enables you to transfer existing applications to the cloud – whether public, private or hybrid cloud. Standardized processes and in-depth consulting allow for a seamless transition and faster time to market. Second, as part of our Cloud Application Services, we deliver the applications that drive your business. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions give you cost control and the flexibility to scale. Third, with Cloud Platform Services, we provide the IT structure that suits you: on-premise, on-campus or via Edge. All approaches are based on an end-to-end principle: every step of your cloud journey is planned.
Individualization is crucial to a good CX. Just as your services need to be tailored to your customers, your digital transformation should also be tailored to your needs. That’s why we don’t just work closely with SAP to provide you with advanced data analysis tools. Our extensive expertise in major industries such as automotive, public transport, and health enables us to respond precisely to your needs.