Experience Management: Why It’s Essential For Your Organization’s Strategy And Innovation

Sridhar Ayodhya

The pace of innovation and disruption is continuously increasing across the world. To stay competitive, companies must deliver innovative products and services and exceptional experiences that delight customers and deliver excellent business outcomes.

In today’s world, innovation is needed constantly to stay relevant and grow – which requires the ability to build empathy with customers, employees, and stakeholders by observing emotions and behaviors to understand the desired outcomes. This experience-intelligence is critical for understanding customers and a key driver for strategic decisions and product innovations.

What is experience management?

Experience management is all about exploring opportunities for innovation and using those insights to continuously deliver great experiences to customers, employees, and partners. This concept covers all human experiences across the value chain, including suppliers, partners, distributors, stakeholders, and, most importantly, customers and employees.

Investor communications and annual statements tell us every organization is customer-centric, yet most companies focus on competitors’ offerings or their existing products and services. Truly customer-centric companies focus on customers to understand dissatisfaction, pain points, and unexpected business outcomes. Experience management is critically important for becoming a customer-centric organization.

Why now?

Companies spend millions on innovations. Any mistakes in identifying user needs can cost money, decrease opportunities, and create poor brand experiences. Collecting data on user experiences at multiple meaningful touchpoints and across all channels, including social media and review sites, can provide a better understanding of users. It is also important to reach out to a diversity of individuals in each customer segment as well as internal stakeholders.

Identifying experience gaps is an iterative exercise. Customers don’t always know what they want, nor should companies always try to give them what they ask for. Experience data should be used to create innovations that delight customers and help them complete jobs effectively.

Success depends on knowing where to look, which customers and users to target, what touchpoints to use, and how to generate insights from ever-growing data.

Experience data exists across organizations, business units, research organizations, and third-party survey firms. It not only includes feedback and survey data but also emotions, feelings, and behaviors across multiple sources and channels.

Setting up for success

To differentiate on customer value, companies must play to their strengths and adopt different business models across industries.

Organizations that integrate experience data with operational data and have artificial intelligence analytical capabilities will be better poised to execute the strategy on their business model. They can then set themselves up for success with:

  • A data strategy that includes experience data to eliminate data silos and inefficient use of data.
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities for deep learning, automation, and predicting and extracting information from various channels.
  • Integration with business application operational data to pinpoint key areas for change and eliminate process inefficiencies. Integrating experience data and operational data will provide qualitative and quantitative analysis for strategy formation.
  • Analytics capabilities to identify customers who need help and avoid frequent feedback requests.

Conclusion

Leaders can use insights from experience data to guide strategic choices and innovations. Companies that excel in experience management can align their strategy to become customer-centric and innovation leaders.

Key business benefits from experience management include:

  • Using data across functions. Marketing teams can upgrade brand experiences; research teams can innovate products; employees can enhance customer experience; and leaders can improve employee engagement. Highly engaged employees deliver great experiences to customers, which contributes to outstanding business results.
  • Reaching new customer segments and uncontested markets. Companies can differentiate products and target new customer segments and markets.
  • Generating process efficiencies across the value chain.
  • Retaining employees and customers. Businesses can proactively take actions to stem employee resignations and turn buyers into customers for life.
  • Predicting trends before they can become complex problems.
  • Creating an agile organization with faster, accurate feedback for innovation.

Experience management will enable leaders with data-driven decision making by gaining an inside view from employees and an outside view from customers and stakeholders.

To ensure a proper return on your IT investments, you need to fully utilize your ERP system. Join our session on September 24th to find out how SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder can help you with that.


Sridhar Ayodhya

About Sridhar Ayodhya

Sridhar Ayodhya is a principal innovation architect at SAP America, specializing in business transformation strategy and innovation. He has experience working with large customers in Australia and North America and works with chief officers and executives on business transformations and driving innovations. Sridhar is passionate about corporate innovation, strategy formation, and designing new business models. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Newcastle, Australia, and Corporate Innovation Certificate (Executive Education) at Stanford Graduate School of Business.