Experience Economy: Revolutionizing Industries With O's And X's

Farjeel Javed

The human race has transitioned through many different types of economies, starting with the basic traditional economy and moving upward to the capital economy. The journey began when human civilizations started extracting things from the earth and selling them as commodities, forming an agrarian economy. Later, we moved to the Industrial Revolution, where these commodities were packaged and processed into goods.

During this time, we realized that the value of goods and commodities is directly proportional to the price paid for them. To be more competitive, we learned, we needed to offer supportive, valuable services with customized experiences; this led to the services economy. As we progress further along this path, we’re learning that individualism and creativity are society’s new norms, and offering unique experiences and user-centricity are the keys to leading our industry. The world is moving toward the experience economy, a concept envisioned by Gilmore and Pine in 1998. Global digital transformation and intelligent technology trends have taken personalized experiences to a higher level, bolstering the experience economy trend.

In today’s world, most countries are going through tough economic situations, and revolutionizing local industries through the experience economy could give them a competitive advantage. The idea is to use services to offer memorable experiences when goods and commodities are sold.

In technical terms, experience management means making smart decisions and realigning your strategy based on Operational (O) data and eXperience (X) factors, which simply means tapping into the feelings or feedback of the customers or users. In simple words, this is about “WHAT” is happening and “WHY” is it happening.

We are living in an era where nearly 56% of the world’s total population of 7.7 billion has access to the Internet. Their experience with the Internet and supporting technologies is shaping their identities. If we closely examine the latest tech innovations, we can clearly see that things like virtual reality (VR), 3D printing, beacons, machine learning (ML), and 5G are all about experience.

As Alex Frias wrote in Forbes, “Consumers know what they want and are willing to pay a premium for it. In turn, we as marketers have to take their cues to adopt and leverage technology to create immersive, total-experience strategies to give them an elevated product across all touch points.”

SAP Industries

Experience matters. Companies are disproportionally rewarded when they deliver great experiences and are punished when they don’t. Customers tend to share their satisfactory or dissatisfactory experiences within their social circles, leading to increases or decreases in sales for the provider. At the same time, employee satisfaction and engagement are also imperative, as there is a strong correlation between employee experience and customer experience. While 80% of CEOs believe they are delivering a superior experience, only eight percent are actually doing so. This gap needs to be addressed.

Each industry has its own challenges. This is why many companies are heavily focused on improving customer experience through the intelligent enterprise. On the other hand, organizations need to understand the experience journey across the value chain – from the first point of interaction all the way to product or service delivery; the end-to-end customer journey is key.

Let’s take a look at how an integrated suite of applications and platforms is helping different industries perform better than ever.

Healthcare

Unfortunately, the healthcare industry has not made the same service shifts that have changed other industries. Nevertheless, as the healthcare system starts shifting towards an increasingly consumer-centric delivery model, it needs to put equal emphasis on first-rate clinical outcomes and excellent service delivery.

Imagine you’re a patient walking into a healthcare clinic where the doctor has access to your detailed health and lifestyle profile that informs them, not only about your historical health record, but also what you like or dislike, what matters to you most, what are your expectations, what motivates you, what you reported the last time you were there, or what you shared on social media. All of these factors will help the doctor reach an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the best way forward for you, based on your personal profile. From the healthcare provider’s perspective, it would be useful to know where to focus their investment and development, for example, how to price services for greatest advantage, what product or service gaps they can fill to gain competitive advantage, how to segment patients, or ways to use stakeholder feedback to improve brand and track performance.

Using the right platform, enabled with future technologies and capable of targeting experience management, will help healthcare providers emerge as leaders in their industry, because healthcare will never be the same in the experience economy.

Higher education and research

The entire higher education and research chain, starting from the applications process to managing students and alumni, is tedious and outmoded. This is mainly due to the lack of consideration given to “customer” insights and needs. In the experience economy, X and O can help identify and address the root causes of poor outcomes in key indicators. This can enable them to take actions aimed at improving applicant experiences, student and faculty satisfaction and engagement, campus life, alumni relations, yield rates from application to admission, funding and donations, as well as the speed and quality of research.

Public sector

Imagine a government that understands key stakeholders well and designs experiences tailored to the needs of citizens, constituents, internal customers, and employees. When governments have a platform focused on O and X data, it makes it easier for them to turn data into insights and design experiences that engage and satisfy every stakeholder, resulting in better public service. Smart governments personalize public service at scale by engaging stakeholders at every step, whether it’s about complying with policies, gathering public opinion, or using feedback and satisfaction survey data.

The idea is to put people and their sentiments, feelings, and feedback at the heart of every decision to deliver outstanding services.

Financial services

The banking industry used to be a service business, until increased competition transformed it into a predominantly commercial industry. In today’s world, financial service institutions are learning that fighting on prices creates no real or greater value for the business. In the experience economy, offering customized experiences and providing memorable engagement are key drivers along with the efficiency and performance of service.

The financial service industry needs a digital platform powered by intelligent technologies that can create exceptional customer and employee experiences. This will not only help grow the brand but will also increase customer loyalty and lifetime value, enable interactions at every touchpoint or channel, enable improving in addition to analyzing, draw focus on the areas impacting key metrics, engage, activate, and empower the whole organization to act on feedback from the customer, improve the experience for their teams, and finally, package the right services and products for every customer.

For more insight on using the X’s and O’s to your advantage, read our Winning In The Experience Economy series.

This article originally appeared in LinkedIn Pulse.


Farjeel Javed

About Farjeel Javed

Farjeel Javed is the Senior Advisor for Digital Transformation and Smart Governance at SAP. As a technologist and digital transformation leader with more than 16 years of ICT industry experience in the public sector, he helps governments run simple and improve the lives of their citizens through technology. Farjeel has significant expertise in formulating and leading national digital transformation strategies, policies, frameworks, road maps, value propositions, digital and experience economy drivers, and business benchmarking. Please follow Farjeel on Twitter @farjeel, LinkedIn, or contact him at farjeel.javed@sap.com.