This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

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About Anja Reschke

Anja Reschke is the Senior Director of Strategic Ecosystem Marketing at SAP. She is responsible for the development of joint strategic marketing plans, programs, and activities, with global strategic services and technology partners.