How do we want customers to experience our brand? This should be the first question companies ask when looking to deploy cloud technology, believes AJ Hartenberg, data centre portfolio manager at T-Systems
Having a clear and cohesive vision of how you want your customers to feel about their experience when interacting with your company is the starting point of selecting the technology that will provide that experience.
He quotes Steve Jobs who said: "You've got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around." The core focus is to enhance customer experience and cloud has enabled a host of methodologies and tool sets to achieve this."
Hartenberg says that in effect it is the experience you are selling and not the technology, so when sitting with your engineers, do it with your marketing and experiential objectives in mind. Technology enables and contributes to the experience. A multi-cloud approach is needed to ensure that the right tools and environments provide the right customer experience with a multitude of disciplines and services
"Take a clothing store for example. A touchscreen display next to a rack of clothing could provide information on the colours and sizes of a garment in stock. Should the customer require help, the screen could prompt the offer of help from an assistant. Targeted messaging could likewise be displayed electronically on changeroom mirrors, such as special offers."
Cloud allows this dynamic environment by being flexible, scalable and agile. It allows you to change messaging daily and scale it up or down depending on demand. Using technology to enable a dialogue with customers can build great loyalty and the underlying technologies should be designed to work toward providing an excellent customer experience.
"A demonstration of this principle in action is a connected car brand with an online care service linked with WiFi to the cloud. The service is activated should the vehicle be in an accident. The driver would then be assisted to find out what service he requires such as towage or police assistance. Should the driver be unresponsive, emergency services will be directed to the car's location.
"This service is associated with the car brand and greatly enhances the driving experience. Again it's how you want your customers to perceive your brand that drives the technology.
"Accessing the vast computational power and analytical capabilities that cloud offers lets us understand our customers better, both their similarities and differences. Once you have decided that you want to offer customers an exceptional experience, applications can be designed to deliver this," he says.