Over the last twenty years, technology and specifically the internet has played a significant role in revolutionising how we organise, communicate and shop for the products and services we need in our personal and professional lives. The pace of that revolution has been quite startling, and many organisations have struggled to keep up. The challenge going forward is that the pace of change is showing no signs of slowing down.
IBM recently reported that 50% of the business leaders they surveyed said that their current business models were under attack by competitors using technology to create more compelling customer propositions. But with limited resources and time, how can you keep up to date with the vast amount of new technology, services and information relating to customer engagement in our modern digital economy.
Look at your organisations’ use of digital technology and compare it to what your customers use during their journey to purchase. An example of this might be mobile, what percentage of your website visits come from mobile devices and do you have a mobile-friendly site. Another might be which social media sites do your customers use and is your business represented on those channels. Keeping fully up to date with your customer’s online activity is the simplest way of making sure you stay relevant and don’t fall behind.
Appraising your competitor’s use of technology is another relatively easy way of making sure you don’t lose out in the fight for customers and market share. Tracking their use of search engine marketing techniques, social media channel and content activity alongside their company blog and news functions will provide you with a rich insight into their existing and planned activity.
With these customer and competitor reviews at hand, you can now appraise your activity in context. Put your self in the shoes of the customer and ask which technology and channels add value to their experience and make the journey to purchase easier. Learn from your competitors by understanding what they do well and how you can adapt it for use in your organisation. And finally, be prepared to experiment with new ways of thinking and working that enable you to evolve and reinvent your organisation through becoming more responsive to customer needs and preferences.