What the heck is Customer Centricity?

What the heck is Customer Centricity?

Reading the very interesting post Customer Centricity is MORE than Customer Experience by Joseph Michelli I engaged into a discussion about things centricity. The discussion basically is about answering the question “What the heck is customer centricity?” – this elusive thing. And how does it relate to customer experience and other ‘centricities’, like price centricity, product centricity, or service centricity? When do we call a company customer centric? Of course there are some usual suspects that can be used as examples to make one point or another. Is Ryanair customer centric? Aldi? Amazon? Apple? Google? Starbucks? Jiro’s sushi restaurant? Luckily all participating disputants have a different view, so there is a vivid discussion going on, from which one can learn a LOT. But first things first. Let’s get the issue of customer centricity vs. customer experience out of the way. Joseph states, that “customer centricity is a commitment or a strategy to assure the success of your customer. Whereas, customer experience is a set of customer perceptions forged across all their interactions with your brand.” (emphasis by Joseph Michelli). In brief: customer centricity is a strategy and customer experience is an outcome. This distinction is important, as not only a customer centric strategy leads to customer experiences (plural, every interaction with your brand results in an experience), which accumulate to customer experience (singular, the weighted sum total of all customer experiences over time). So, let’s assume there are four possible pure strategies: customer centric, price centric, product centric, service centric, and put a stake into the ground by briefly defining them. I call a strategy service centric if all...
Salesforce, Service, AI and … IoT

Salesforce, Service, AI and … IoT

AI, IoT, and CRM, three acronyms. However, these three belong together and should not be treated or looked at separately. One important reason for this is that companies and organizations can provide significantly better service experiences and, more importantly, results, by combining the capabilities behind these acronyms. Good field service not only gets dispatched smartly but also equipped with the right parts and, ideally, in a proactive manner. This can get delivered by the combination of Field Service, AI, and IoT data. That’s why I found Salesforce’s early December announcement of having added a component “IoT insights” to its Field Service Lightning product quite interesting. As the press release said, this capability enables service agents and representatives to see IoT signals together with other CRM data, so that the triple p of personalized, proactive, even predictive service is possible. After all, Einstein is embedded into Field Service Lightning for quite some time now. Doing so, Salesforce wisely did not implement yet another IoT platform but enabled its system to ingest data from existing IoT platforms, thus sticking to the core competencies of the company. The solution helps in three areas: Enabling of early issue anticipation (rather than detection, which is responsive) and remote diagnosis Providing agents with more relevant information, to speed up issue resolution And automation via rules and workflows. Says Paolo Bergamo, SVP and GM, Salesforce Field Service Lightning: Let me first clarify that we’re not competing with IoT platforms from the likes of AWS IoT or Azure IoT. Our solution extends the value of these platforms – they provide streams of device data that then flow...
The Return of the Suite

The Return of the Suite

The suite is back. I have said and written that a good number of times in the past few years. And that is a good thing (that the suite is back, not that I said it, of course), because one of the major challenges with a best of breed approach is integration. The suite is back, but it is in an incarnation that vastly differs from what we knew about suites back in the times before cloud computing and Salesforce brought back a supremacy of best of breed over the suite. Integrating different pieces of software from different vendors into one coherent whole is easily accounting for one third to one half of project budgets. And this part of the overall cost for implementing new software is often plaid down by best of breed vendors. Which is not a crime, especially if the benefits of the best of breed software outweigh the cost of integration. However. Often it does not. And not openly addressing cost of integration backfires. Always. Believe me. If you research my background well enough you will find out why you should. Little hint: I am not only writing about things. Another strong argument in favor of the suite is the platform war that is currently going on. Why? Simply, because a platform is not only a technical platform. It is more. A platform consists of mainly four pieces: a technical platform the ability of turning data into insight, an ecosystem, and productivity support. And, very importantly, a necessary capability that is provided by the technical platform is integration. Some other aspects include the provision of...
Nimble 2018 – The Story continues

Nimble 2018 – The Story continues

The year 2018 is coming to an end, which means it is high time for some interesting product and roadmap news. Here’s some Nimble news (ok, not THAT fresh anymore, I have been incredibly busy recently). For starters, Nimble released its long awaited Mobile 3.0 for Android, complementing the iOS version that got released earlier this year. Nimble unifies contacts from teams’ mobile, cloud-based, and desktop records into an all-in-one relationship manager. With minimal taps, sales and marketing professionals can prepare for meetings by quickly scanning social insights, sales intelligence, and contact engagement history from their portal device. To keep the momentum going, Office 365 and G Suite users can send personalized responses using template, trackable emails, and monitor opportunities across all deal stages from their portable devices. “People buy from the people they know, like, and trust,” said Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara. “We therefore designed Nimble Mobile to give users the insights they need to build confidence, engage in productive discussions, and follow through promptly anytime, anywhere.” With this milestone, Nimble has now truly achieved a vision of being a simple, smart ‘CRM’ for MS Office and G-Suite users that works for the user. I put the CRM into quotes as this term for me and most other people relates to a stragegy or system that includes marketing, sales and service capabilities and not only Sales Force Automation (SFA). And SFA, particularly contact management, is what is at the core of Nimble. Still, Nimble combines key ingredients of the digital workplace that a mobile, sales person needs, into one single place. It provides the user with vital information about...
The Secret Sauce of Success – Recipe unveiled by the DC Office of Unified Communications

The Secret Sauce of Success – Recipe unveiled by the DC Office of Unified Communications

Back in 2015 the Washington D.C. Office of Unified Communications (OUC) started a re-platforming exercise of their backbone from an on premise system to a cloud based customer service solution. The Washington, D.C. Office of Unified Communications manages non-emergency services for 311 callers across the District of Columbia, supporting 17 different agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and more. The OUC also manages emergency services for 911 callers. One of the main reasons for this re-platforming was the downtime challenge inherent to all on premise platforms: They need to be upgraded regularly, which causes service degradation or even unavailability. Other reasons included insufficient and slow reporting capabilities as well as the need to add more self-service channels. Having strong reporting and analytics capabilities are crucially important for call centers. The biggest thing for them is the answer and solution rate, which needs to be as high as possible. Additional self-service channels were necessary to be able to cope with the influx of requests and to both, improve customer satisfaction and modernize the customer experience. To further achieve the latter, a chat service and social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have been added to the 311 services. All of these challenges have been addressed by migrating to a software solution based upon the Salesforce Service Cloud, along with some organizational measures. Being a main KPI, the answer wait time has been drastically reduced from 7 minutes to a mere 31 seconds. Doesn’t sound good to you? Consider that the service still serves 1.8 million calls per year with...
Data Rules – SAP acquires Qualtrics

Data Rules – SAP acquires Qualtrics

The News On November 11, 2018 SAP announced that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Qualtrics, the “global pioneer of the experience management (XM) software category”. Here is the full announcement for you to read: WALLDORF, Germany, PROVO, Utah, SEATTLE, Wash. — SAP SE(NYSE: SAP) and Qualtrics International Inc. (Qualtrics) today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which SAP SE intends to acquire Qualtrics, the global pioneer of the experience management (XM) software category that enables organizations to thrive in today’s experience economy. Together, SAP and Qualtrics to accelerate the new XM category by combining experience data and operational data to power the experience economy Creates a highly differentiated offering for businesses to deliver superior customer, employee, product, and brand experiences Ryan Smith to continue to lead Qualtrics; Qualtrics to maintain dual headquarters in Provo, Utah, and Seattle, Wash. Under the terms of the agreement, SAP will acquire all outstanding shares of Qualtrics for US$8 billion in cash. SAP has secured financing in the amount of €7 billion to cover purchase price and acquisition-related costs. The purchase price includes unvested employee incentive compensation and cash on the balance sheet at close. Subject to customary closing conditions and attainment of regulatory clearances, the acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2019. The Boards of Directors of SAP and Qualtrics have approved the transaction. Qualtrics’ shareholders have also approved the transaction. SAP CEO Bill McDermott said: “We continually seek out transformational opportunities – today’s announcement is exactly that. Together, SAP and Qualtrics represent a new paradigm, similar to market-making shifts in personal operating systems, smart...