TL:DR – Innovation doesn’t have to be expensive and is a vital business growth strategy. Authentic empathy for your customers is a valid and proven success metric.
The first speaker at the DLR Summit on June 13th discussed the positive impact of great customer experiences. Edmund Dueck of Liferay outlined the need for innovative customer experiences. Positive customer experiences ultimately increase an organisation’s competitive chances.
Creative thinking and great customer experiences go hand in hand: To illustrate this, Edmund used the example of a large suspension bridge in Germany. The Geierlay suspension bridge is situated in the middle of nowhere, outside a small, German town. Commissioned by the inhabitants of Moersdorf, the project aimed to boost tourism. For a town with nothing of note to attract tourists and a small economy, the locals had to think creatively. The project was a roaring success. The bridge has attracted over 500,000 visitors per year, twice that of Eltz Castle which is better known.
Why is a suspension bridge relevant to business?
Innovate or die: Oft quoted in marketing, but holds true. Every business, from your local bank to software vendor must stay ahead of the competition. If you are not sure whether you need to innovate, it’s time to look at your profitability. Then ask yourself if this is sustainable when there are twice as many competitors in this space.
Change velocity is real: The rate of change in technology is causing a high rate of distress for business. According to research, 76% of marketers think that marketing has changed more in the last two years compared to the last 20 years. If your organisation can not keep abreast of change, perhaps it is time to look to a digital partner?
Trends: It is vital for your organisation to stay abreast of of industry trends. From there, each team should evaluate what your organisation can realistically adopt. You may not have a large budget but not all innovation is costly.
Digital Partners: According to the former CTO of IBM, ‘many enterprises are choking on their own early, digitised practices’. So what is the solution? Banks are the best example of early innovation gone wrong. Legacy systems start to fail over time and patches only work for so long (TSB UK is the latest example). To stay relevant, organisations must maintain and upgrade digital real estate. If internal resources are not available, you must look at a digital partner. Our Team Augmentation service is a cost effective upgrade and maintenance service. Regardless of the discipline required, we offer resources as required.
Empathy and Competition: Social media has turbo charged the power of ‘Word of Mouth’ marketing. For any company (even those without large budgets), customer connection is key. A prospect who feels a connection to a brand will be more likely to convert and customers are less likely to churn. Connecting in a genuine and empathetic manner is a key to a successful sales strategy.
Customers as a nodal point: Put your customer at the centre of your strategy. Whether you rent industrial equipment or develop salon software, putting customers at the centre of everything you do is innovative – particularly when your competitors don’t. Edmund highlighted a leasing company that designed their services around the customer. Taking this approach means that prospects can receive a quote within two minutes online. Furthermore, they can lease equipment directly from the site. ID checks are automatic, making it easy for customers to then collect the vehicle. This innovative approach has helped the company corner the market.
Care is your best strategy: Customers connect to your business with small gestures, perhaps it’s time to start thinking small. When Phorest Software started out, they did not focus on costly solutions to surprise and delight customers. The team had to get creative with their marketing activities. When the company was in it’s infancy, I remember an email that they sent to some customers on their birthday. This birthday email linked to a video featuring the marketing manager singing happy birthday to the customer. This simple gesture won the hearts and minds, creating a valuable connection. This connection boosted engagement and retention.
Behave online as in real life: We have all visited (and swiftly left), websites with autoplay videos, pop up windows demanding email addresses and annoying chatbots. While these features may work when well executed, more often than not, they can actually act as a deterrent. If you wouldn’t follow customers around with billboards and megaphones in real life, perhaps it is worth avoiding them online.
If you are looking to innovate, our Team Augmentation service can help with a range solutions to suit your budget and timeline.