Software’s role in customer retention
A great customer experience has always been the golden standard for businesses like retail, restaurants, car manufacturers, and other B2C companies. So it stands to reason that we as individuals bring our expectations for great user experiences – formed from our consumer worlds through interacting with brands like Netflix, Amazon, Zappos, etc. – with us to work in the B2B ecosphere.
As a result, the bar for B2B customer experiences has been elevated significantly by the B2C world. Yet B2B customer-experience index ratings significantly lag behind those of retail customers, with B2C companies typically scoring in the 65%-85% range, while B2B companies average less than 50%. And B2B companies should take note of the business results driven by customer experience initiatives in the B2C world.
When a company places customer experience at the forefront of their business strategy, they’re doing their bottom line a favor — customer retention is cheaper than acquisition. Top-notch customer service creates a loyal customer that will then refer friends and colleagues, serve as case studies and testimonials, and write customer reviews. In fact, an increase in customer retention of merely 5% can equate to an increase in profit of at least 25%, according to a study by Bain. With repeat customers more likely to spend 67% more with a brand, businesses that invest in customer retention by focusing on customer experience will have an advantage over their competitors.
Responsive, adaptable customer experience: A critical business strategy
So why is developing a responsive, adaptable customer experience critical to success? Think about this: when was the last time you rented a movie from Blockbuster? (It’s been a while, right?) That’s because Netflix completely disrupted the home-entertainment industry by delivering an unparalleled customer experience from start to finish. They then continued to evolve that experience as fast as the supporting technology would enable.
When existing systems are inflexible and time-consuming to modify, companies spend more time dedicated to system maintenance and “keeping the lights on” (like Blockbuster did) than they do on creating simple, intuitive online experiences that add value to their customers (like Netflix does).
Transformed Infrastructure, Enhanced Value to Customers
Cathay Pacific is one company that has invested in building a scalable infrastructure that is designed to meet their ever-evolving application requirements. With its new IT architecture, the airline has been able to increase its throughput for application deployment by a factor of 10 (from 20 to 200 changes a day). They have built a technology foundation that integrates data and systems to deliver personalized and seamless experiences for their customers.
As in any company’s transformation from legacy systems to connected systems that place the customer first, technology is the key. And replacing all of your legacy systems is not the answer. The wholesale rip and replace of an existing technology stack is costly, takes a lot of time, bears risk, and completely eliminates your ability to be responsive or innovative while you reform your infrastructure.
That’s where a Hybrid Integration Platform comes in. A HIP seamlessly and securely integrates your on-premise systems with cloud-based software enabling you to share data between previously disconnected systems. With some HIPs (like Avato), this integration can happen in months – instead of the years that a rip and replace takes. And with this infrastructure in-place, you are ready and able to develop rich, customer-centric digital experiences. If you’re ready to streamline your company’s operations with connected systems, we are here to help.