Survival will Depend Upon Providing Great Service and Retaining Customers
Some pundits predict that within the next two decades the US economy will entering an era that will define the next 20 years of commerce and will be known as the age of the customer (1). Most of those people, to various levels of certitude, tend to agree that (a) the key to success in this age will be customer obsession and (b) only those organizations that strenuously concentrate on success, top flight service and retaining customers will survive.
Increasingly, those who study sales/marketing acknowledge the drive towards customer obsession all around us. In an attempt to win, serve and retain customers in China, a booming and aggressively competitive market, Apple teamed up with China Mobile to offer two-year package plans on smartphones including significant amounts of data with their 4G network. For customers, this is not just about the device and the price, it’s about network speed and the total cost of the data they’re going to use. Will customers be getting the best deal with Apple & China Mobile or will they opt for competitors? Time will tell.
Or think about Google’s acquisition of Nest, a company that manufactures internet-enabled thermostats and cloud-connected smoke detectors. Some say this acquisition is not about these useful devices. Rather, it is about their platforms and the server technology that connects them. Obviously, Google acknowledges that success in winning, serving and retaining customers in the connected world of the future will require smart technology that can communicate changes and make decisions without human intervention. In the age of the customer, when it comes to connected household devices and the internet of things, it probably makes sense to acquire the platform in order to win, serve and retain customers for the long term.
Many agree that in a relatively short period of time, virtually all customers will be mobile customers. Statistics about the mobile market tend to support that prediction. Most of those pundits agree that by 2020, there will be more mobile devices then planets in the galaxy, viz. over 50 billion. In 2013 alone, over 8 trillion text messages were sent and SAP 365 alone facilitates more than 2 billion SMS messages daily! Today, 29% of the work force is mobile-enabled, and that number will go up to 40% by 2016, representing 1.3 billion workers worldwide.
Because of these vast volumes, security and business policy management are significant concerns for mobile. For example, about 50,000 devices are lost or stolen in the London metropolitan area every two weeks and those devices hold 160TB of data. Significantly, 95% of the people who find devices will try to access sensitive information such as online banking, corporate email, social media apps, or other files stored on the device. And last but not least, by 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices creating a Big Data problem for enterprises in terms of managing, storing and most importantly, deriving business value from the vast volume of data they will generate.
Thus, in such a diverse/complex data and device landscape, it is likely that only those enterprises that will succeed are those which are aggressively obsessed with their mobile customers. Mobile remains one of the key disruptive forces in the world today, and it’s the ubiquitous technology that will define the user experience and simplify enterprise operations. So, it should be that those enterprises that are looking to succeed in the next 20 years of business must have a solid strategy for addressing the needs of their key mobile stakeholders including consumers, users and IT workers, because all of them will either be engaging primarily on mobile devices or tasked with securing devices and data.
Customer Obsessed Companies
Some very successful companies such as Verizon, Standard Bank, Vodafone and Tommy Hilfiger, among others, selected SAP Mobile as the driving force behind their obsession to satisfy their mobile customers. Apart from the platform that enables them to build, run and secure their own apps, what customers like about SAP is the breadth of the solution set, in-depth expertise in 25 industries and 11 LOBs on a global scale, the fact that SAP Mobile is cloud enabled and powered by SAP HANA, and last but not least, the vibrant ecosystem.
Sources: (1) http://blogs.forrester.com/category/age_of_the_customer
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So if you are as seeking to win, serve and retain mobile customers, make sure you have an action plan in place to guarantee your success:
- Establish ownership for your mobile strategy and vision
- Create a Mobile Center of Excellence for structured approach
- Standardize on the SAP Mobile Platform
- Build and run Mobile apps for all your stakeholders including users, consumers and IT workers
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