You may have considered many aspects of your organisation’s ability to offer a good customer experience. But that may be only part of the story. With many other players—from suppliers to vendors— impacting the way customers perceive your service, how do you influence your customer’s experience beyond your doors?
Enterprise experience is a holistic way of looking at this broader customer journey. For instance, when a customer buys a car insurance product online from an insurer – they are interacting with several businesses at the same time to get that insurance policy delivered. From the purchaser’s own carrier service, the insurer’s online platform, the purchaser’s bank and the business’ bank, customer service and underwriter all play a part of the insurance transaction. All the interlinked services working together to create a customer experience that flows creates what’s known as the enterprise experience.
Why focus on enterprise experience?
When digital transformations have occurred across all the key areas of our lives – from ordering food, booking a taxi, going on holiday to listening to music and watching films – it sets the standard for our expectations. Customers, as well as service providing enterprises, have come to expect a seamless delivery experience, and that means stepping up to cloud based systems and process that work together in real time.
Even prior to COVID-19, the digital revolution was ramping up, being seen as both a challenge and the answer for industries and organisations that are typically slow to respond to change and legislation heavy in their information management requirements.
Moving to digital systems and processes that are more efficient and adaptable means that future change is easier to implement – which is an important selling point for decision makers who’ve been burnt by switching to the latest ‘must have’ system before.
Organisations are notoriously slow to improve the experience of their own internal employees and departments. The rapid shift to digitalisation has meant they’re now being called on to not only increase the pace of internal changes with decentralisation and improved customer experience, but quickly move into external enterprise partnerships if they want to stay ahead of the competition. When organisations step up and create operational experiences that make it easy to work, collaborate and share necessary information, the flow on effect is positive for the both staff and customer engagement.
Understanding your own digital ecosystem
Just like a biological ecosystem – digital ecosystems grow from interconnected organisations that work together. The beauty of these ecosystems is that there are competitors and collaborators all working together, like postal subcontractors who can step in during busy periods and keep the mail delivered on time. Having cloud based, secure systems that can ‘talk’ to each other makes it a lot easier to manage workflows without complex handovers and transition processes.
Before undertaking any digital transformation, the first step is to look at your current digital ecosystem. Finding out the road blocks, opportunities and emerging stakeholder needs will help establish a plan of action and ecosystem roles and responsibilities.
How can a digital ecosystem help?
Besides the obvious benefits of scale and improved customer service, a digital ecosystem can improve your company performance.
Other benefits of digital ecosystems include:
- Decreased costs and expenses – By removing duplications, outsourcing to experts and streamlining processes.
- Improve business processes – Finding better ways to work through decentralisation and streamlining of essential processes.
- Identification of new revenue sources – When your processes are efficient and you have an ecosystem of suppliers and services on call, you’re ready to jump on opportunities when the arise.
- Strategic growth – when you have better data at hand, you can make informed decisions about which products and services are bringing in the best ROI and remove or switch up underperforming services that are not cost effective.
- Faster implementation and adoption of technology – move away from manual processes and analogue data used to involve complex and labourious processes. With digital cloud and SaaS technology, updates and implementation are stress free and smooth.
- Improved customer experiences – Expanding your digital touch points for that seamless customer journey experience – providing multiple channels for enterprise to communicate with the end customer and vice versa.
So, what are the essentials for building a digital ecosystem?
When building a digital ecosystem, it’s important to build in systems that allow for agile growth and scale. This might include everything from internal networks of cloud-based SaaS tools and technologies to manage customer interactions and engagement, internal communication platforms or knowledge management, through to customer facing service delivery options like banking, partner organisations and social media platforms. It also requires a network of APIs to allow these systems to talk seamlessly with each other.
- Strategic thinking
Having a clear strategy and plan of action is essential to creating value-driven ecosystems that can scale fast. This includes clear roles and responsibilities, and a strong plan for building and maintaining the ecosystem.
- The right partnerships and collaborations
Choosing partner organisations that are aligned with your strategy and brand values is an essential first step. Having backups and alternatives on call will help with scaling and flexibility as you grow. Organisations that start from within – getting the forward thinkers, change ambassadors and decision makers together to create meaningful change and ownership of processes that flows through to the rest of the organisation.
- User adoption
The next phase of digital growth won’t come from going it alone. Companies that are growing rapidly can do so because they collaborate and share with other platforms to get more users on their platforms. Think of services like Uber and Air BNB – without social media and user driven marketing, and working with industry players like Google they would have struggled to grow at the same hectic pace.
- Compliance and legislation
Choosing compatible digital partners to build an ecosystem in highly regulated industries such as banking, healthcare and insurance can help organisations maintain compliance through delivering higher level audit capabilities. Working with experienced partners as an ecosystem can also help organisations stay on top of privacy and security issues, with everything from GDPR compliance regulations to AI.
Examining your enterprise experiences is an opportunity for unprecedented growth, if you’re ready to step up to the challenge.
Refreshing outdated systems shouldn’t mean replacing like for like but is an opportunity to examine how your business is running from every angle and see where resources are being used effectively (or not!). Taking the opportunity to step into a new way of working, collaborating and sharing with internal partners delivers better customer experiences, and that’s good for everyone’s bottom line.