A recent Forrester Research study announced some of the biggest technology challenges CIOs are facing in 2015. After discussing their findings among our senior IT staff, we developed an internal memo we plan to implement here at ComputerSupport.com to stay ahead of these new trends.
Face it. If your business isn’t growing to meet consumer demands in the digital community, you’re going to lose business. What are some the trends smart CIOs and their IT teams are implementing?
Business Technology (BT)
Do your senior executives fully understand what it is? Most companies are comprised of two types of executives. First are seasoned managers who have years and perhaps decades of expertise building organizations using traditional formulas. Ones such as global business strategy and executive leadership.
The second group are executives who understand the impact technology has in consumer patterns of engagement with their brands.
Digital disruption isn’t just one trend. Instead, Forrester Research suggests it’s a combination of technology preferences your customers prefer when they interact and then make purchasing decisions.
But how do you pinpoint areas within your company where investing in business technology will provide a strong ROI?
Start With Customer-Focused Models
With the competition to not only retain your customer base but also grow it in 2015, we recommend doing a full-scale analysis of your customer experience. Start with these areas and evaluate your current processes:
- User experience (Continuous Business Services)
- Merging IT with new profit centers
Engagement & User Experience
How can you embrace new ways of using digital communication to engage your customers? Start by asking you department managers to meet twice per month.
Develop new guidelines to merge both sales, marketing and IT department personnel to improve how each of their areas of expertise can improve customer engagement.
For example, your salespeople are trained to seek out and overcome prospect objections. What if your sales managers met with your IT department to engineer better ways of educating prospects on your company brand?
With the proliferation of online video, consumers now expect your company to provide them with online video solutions. By engaging your prospects and customers using video, you also develop marketing messages which can be used for alternative new business development.
Include your marketing team’s responsibilities in your planning. By integrating these three departments (sales, IT and marketing) you will be in a better position to generate actionable digital solutions to enhance your customer engagement experiences.
Continuous Business Services
Forrester defines continuous business services as thin layers of technology which support the cadence variations every business experiences.
For instance, have you reviewed your customer follow up processes lately? Are they updated bi-annually? If not, you’re missing out on new methods of helping your customers realize they are vital and appreciated to your core business.
Think Amazon.com. They not only update their customers on the status of purchases and shipments but they also provide exceptional customer service. Who hasn’t needed to speak with a live human being from time-to-time when shopping? Do you hate to wait? So does Amazon.
To make life easier for their customers, Amazon offers a call me back now button on their service page. Enter your telephone number and click the ‘call me now’ button. Seconds later, one of their service representatives are dialing your number.
Merging IT With New Profit Centers
Who hasn’t seen advertising preaching to buy local? Amazon sure did and made a decision in 2014 to invest.
Instead of relying on third-party shipping providers, Amazon developed their own distribution chain to roll out Amazon Fresh. Although only offered in select cities in California, shoppers can now order fresh produce and have it delivered by Amazon deliver the same day. Because Amazon already dominates the shopping industry, they used their marketing and IT prowess to capitalize on an under-served niche.
Are your CIOs and IT department brainstorming new markets to infiltrate? We advise you to consider tearing down your company decision-making protocols. Then rebuild them by integrating digital managers with sales, marketing and service personnel to pinpoint new profit centers to target.
If your core business and limited staff thwart your ability to grow into new markets, consider outsourcing your IT resources to free up your organization to focus on growth.