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When ‘disruption’ means putting the customer at the heart of your business processes
By Georgina Barrick
With rapidly-advancing technology setting the pace for business processes and companies doing all they can to keep up, it seems to me that the next step in true “business disruption” may well be revisiting all your business processes to ensure that the customer is still at the heart of your business.
Business growth certainly demands company development and changes in operating procedures and, while South African firms are clearly up there with many global organisations on the technology front, work flow and pace must be relevant to an on-demand digital customer.
For example, an upmarket clothing and interior retailer recently made an online offer to clients that included same-day delivery of items purchased before 11am on a Sunday. This campaign required an intimate knowledge of its customer base and the company’s certainty that their response would grow sales, while ensuring systems were in place so that it could deliver on its same-day promise.
A recent large-scale study by the global customer engagement solutions provider Verint reviewed over 24 000 consumers in 12 countries, including South Africa, and found that while businesses are responding to an increasingly digital world by giving their customers new ways of engaging with them, 24% of consumers surveyed would choose using the phone and 23% going in-store as their primary way to interact with brands or service providers. Importantly, 83% of all survey participants believe speaking with a person will always be a vital part of the customer service equation.
In a recent article, Dave Capuano, global vice-president, integrated marketing at Verint, pointed out that, “As consumers become more digitally savvy, organisations are considering and even implementing more cost-effective digital channels as part of their evolving customer engagement strategies. However, the message from consumers is clear. They still want human touch as an option in many customer service scenarios.”
Why is this? Well, it seems that no matter how digitally savvy the consumer gets, when things really start to go wrong , even the most tech-literate person starts looking for that “let me speak to a human” function in the system. While those among us who are even just reasonably tech-savvy would also like to take the online-solutions route, there appears to be a gap between business processes that keep up with the customers’ needs and business processes that appear to only take the businesses own needs into account. Any customer caught in this gap is going to look for some kind of human interaction once they’ve exhausted the technology solutions.
Business processes that truly function for companies and their customers include a deep understanding of customer needs and expectations in relation to this highly dynamic environment, rather than merely what suits the business implementing the systems. While it may be cost-effective for the bank to replace staff with self-service terminals, what is the back-up plan in the event of system failure – another very real possibility due to the growth of cyber crime?
Part of any growth strategy must take into account all the factors that not only affect the company, but its customers. Think of the number of companies that failed to take into account what it was that their customers required, rather than what it was they were prepared to give them.
Once-iconic brands such as Kodak and Blockbuster neglected to keep up with their customer’s changing needs and growing knowledge and opted for business-as-usual. Who knew that just 20 years ago, the Friday night practise of driving to the DVD store to pick out a movie would turn into sitting in the comfort of your home and having movies to choose from at the click of a button? Apparently, Blockbuster wasn’t paying attention to its customers and the world changing around it. A great example of being better in tune is Netflix who was in fact founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. Netflix initially both sold and rented DVDs by mail, but the sales were eliminated within a year to focus on the DVD rental business. In 2007, Netflix introduced streaming media and video on demand and as of December 2021 had Netflix had over 221.8 million subscribers worldwide.
Here’s what needs to be remembered: At the end of all your business processes, technical upgrades, apps, software and new systems, there is a user. If all of the former are put in place without considering the latter, none of the business efforts will mean anything, regardless of what they cost and how high-tech they are.
The old saying that the “customer is king” seems to have been overridden by the race to stay digitally relevant has seen some firms not ensuring their business processes keep the customer at the heart of the business. As companies evolve quickly in the digital environment to keep pace with the on-demand needs of the customer , they must also evolve the associated business processes or they run the risk of outdated processes supporting new age offering.
Striking that balance is key to innovating while keeping the customer satisfied.
If you have been seeking Candidates but have not yet found the right candidate for the position, you may find the ideal candidate below:
Senior Automation Tester
One calendar month
R 550.00 Per Hour
- Mobile Automation (Java)
- Mobile Automation (Swift)
- Swift, XCode
- Android studio
- AWS – EC2
- Putty Requirements Elicitation
- Business Analysis
- Release Management
- Selenium, See Test (mobile testing application, IntelliJ
- IBM Rational Integration Tester
He has 10 years’ experience in the IT industry, 8 years in the testing space, and completed his Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology and ISTQB Foundation in Software Testing certified. He has executed Automation, functional, regression, integration and system test scripts. Analysed complex requirements and reviewed acceptance criteria to ensure they fit for purpose, are testable, and have tests developed to test and guide acceptance explicitly.
R450 per hour
• Java SE 8
• spring boot
This candidate is a highly resourceful Developer/ Automation Tester with proven abilities to withstand pressure when exposed to fast-paced environments. He is eager to learn new technical testing and programming approaches. Because of his experience and flexibility, he quickly grasps new technologies. He can master new concepts and applications, anticipate, and meet clients and stakeholders’ expectations and cultivate long-lasting relationships that support the client value proposition.
Senior Front-End Developer
Gauteng / Remote
• SQL Docker
He is passionate about any test-driven environment, and after 15 years in front and back-end development. He will thrive in organizations that push for continuous delivery and integration.
He completed his Diploma in Web Application and Development and vast experience across multiple industries, including Automotive, Trade, Manufacturing and Technology.
Senior C# Developer
R650.00 Per Hour
- Angular, AngularJS, Angular with TypeScript
- Batch Files
- C++ 99 4
- Crystal Reports
- Database Administration
- Design Patterns
- Object Oriented Design
- SSRS and MS Charting
- Visual Studio
- Web Services
He is an experienced Senior C# Developer with 14+ years’ experience. He completed his BSc Honors Computing Degree and has worked on multiple software development projects in the financial, education and consulting industry.
R550 Per Hour
- Business Intelligence Data Warehousing
- Expertise in Tableau & MS Power BI including Google Studio
This self-directed and driven Tableau & BI Developer is an aspiring Climate Change Specialist & Cloud Engineer professional with comprehensive accomplishments.
This candidate has a solid technical background that includes Business Intelligence Data Warehousing, SQL, Expertise in Tableau & MS Power BI, including Google Studio—known to be an innovative thinker.
Having exposure to a wide range of technologies & able to play a vital role in diagnosing hardware and software problems and ensuring that quality solutions meet business objectives.
If you want to talk over your contracting options, reach out to Georgina Barrick on LinkedIn to see how Network Contracting Solutions can assist your organisation to find high quality contract Finance IT and Engineering candidates.
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