Digital Customer Experience: Are You Getting It Right?

Thierry Morin

Earlier this year, SAP launched the Executive Digital Exchange (EDX)—global community of digital leaders sharing strategic insight and ideas for competitive advantage—in Australia and New Zealand. As the ANZ community keeps growing, we recently tackled the topic of reimagining customer experience (CX) through technology. That topic has become front of mind for all organisations we speak to, yet many are still grappling with it. Here are the key learnings from the conversations.

Deliver on the fundamental imperatives – and beyond

An exclusive preview of the  SAP Digital Experience Report 2017 for Australia and New Zealand, respectively, was presented at EDX; this unique piece of research provides insights into what consumers want from digital interactions and how organisations are innovating to grow and be more competitive. The results sparked interesting conversations among community members, with three key points emerging:

  • No consumer trust without a solid foundation. Every brand is pursuing the holy grail of relevant, engaging, personalised customer engagement; however, Australian and New Zealand consumers still very much care about fundamentals such as security, availability and simplicity. No organisation can afford to lose sight of those attributes.
  • Too many companies and brands are still failing to deliver on the basics. There are multiple examples of poor consumer experiences having a tangible negative impact on business outcomes—from customer data hacks due to poor stewardship, to crashing of customer-facing systems, to highly complex customer-facing processes (e.g. customer service).
  • Digital has increased the business impact of CX. Poor experience is more likely to antagonise and drive away consumers today than in the past. There are three reasons for that: complexity in the business world has increased dramatically, hence consumer experiences can potentially be more frustrating than ever; on the other end of the spectrum, companies that get it right (often digital natives) offer experiences that consumers thought they could only dream of; as a result, the divide between leaders and laggards has grown—and thanks to technology, consumers can now do their research and switch providers in a few clicks.

Your operating model needs to support innovation

A skillful combination of people, processes, systems, and data is required to take it from minimum viable product (MVP) to the next level—be it a new app, product line, or distribution channel. Now that brand perception is being shaped and changed by forces largely outside of an organisation’s sphere of control, it is critical to capture feedback from the wealth of data points available (e.g., social media) and make adjustments along the value chain.

Mindset is key

From the inaugural EDX events we’ve had globally, we have found that an organisation’s mindset can make or break its ability to transform and thrive in the digital age; that mindset is largely determined by digital literacy in the C-suite. Demystifying digital and consistently looking for inspiration—beyond traditional industry boundaries—are imperatives in a business world that is changing ever faster.

Under Armour is a fantastic example of a company that has been able to innovate its business model and redefine customer engagement. This has been underpinned by a strong innovation DNA (e.g., culture of intrapreneurship; continuous introduction of new products, services, or processes), a relentless focus on the customer, and a recognition of the transformative power of technology.

In SAP’s recent Digital Transformation Executive study, most leaders surveyed across the globe recognised the importance of digital transformation, yet only a small group had actually transformed to embody a corporate-wide digital mindset. Senior executives in Australia and New Zealand were consistently ranked in the middle of the pack across the three indicators (management of digital transformation; impact of digital transformation; digital-enabling environment), pointing to substantial room for improvement.

As maturity around digital transformation is rapidly increasing in ANZ, recipes for success are starting to crystallise; we look forward to the next EDX community gathering, where members will again be sharing insights and best practices to compete in a digital world.

If you are interested in what CX-driven transformation means to your brand or your industry, you can download a copy of the SAP Digital Experience Report 2017.


Thierry Morin

About Thierry Morin

Thierry Morin is helping companies in the Services industries become digital enterprises. As a member of the Industry Value Engineering at SAP team in Australia and New Zealand, he works with the broader sales and services teams to inspire customers and enable them to identify and realise value from digital innovation.