The value of Customer Experience Networks

There is an interesting concept emerging on the market, named “Customer Experience Networks“.

This terminology is made of two parts that everyone understands – “Customer Experience” and “Network”. But what does the whole expression mean? Let’s spend a few minutes discussing the concept …

The backdrop is we leave in a world where digital technology has revolutionized the way we communicate, consume and buy. The interactions through mobile devices and other connected devices have been booming and this is not about to stop. Digital interactions have become the new norm and force now companies to differentiate by providing a unique experience to grow customer retention and wallet share.

But customer experience becomes rapidly poor if companies just limit their offering to their core services. There is a need to onboard partners into the experience to create additional value to the customers. A Customer Experience Network consists in creating more value and better experience to the customers by delivering new services made possible thanks to flexible and dynamic interactions with a large panel of business partners.

 

What does it imply to create a strong digital customer experience?

  1. Delivering mobile apps with a powerful User Interface (both nice, intuitive and consistent) and strong performance (no data latency and high availability).
  2. Regularly enriching the app with new services to capture new business moments and increase the wallet share.
  3. Collecting and analyzing customer data to adapt dynamically to their needs.
  4. Leveraging mobile messaging capabilities to keep customer attention and create stronger engagement.

Which tools are required by IT ?

  1. A mobile application development framework that accelerates the plumbing part and helps focus on the quality of the User Interface rather than the technical aspects.
  2. A strong API Management layer that allows to create new backend APIs easily and manage the different lifecycle stages of the APIs, while enforcing a strong security level.
  3. Cutting-edge analytics technology to measure the performance of the app and the backend systems but also the behavior of the app users.
  4. A solid MBaaS module that accelerates mobile backend development and offers push notification capabilities.
  5. An API-based integration platform that allows to connect efficiently to internal services but also with external partners to create additional services.
  6. Big data technology to harness the large volume of data coming from all digital interactions and customize the delivered experience

What challenges do IT face to deliver those Customer Experience Networks?

IT are under ever increasing pressure from the business while their resources remain limited. Building a Customer Experience Network is not a short term project but a journey IT organizations need to go along. This journey is paved with different important milestones that can be grouped into 3 categories:

  1. Adapt: engage discussions – internally and with partners – on customer experience networks and the business moments you want to capture and start adapting your organization to take this journey.
  2. Engage: focus on major interactions with key partners and start embedding a differentiating service within your app. Leverage this opportunity to keep adapting your organization and grow your learning curve.
  3. Scale: leverage your success and extend to new initiatives.

Exposing legacy services to digital channels and addressing the omnichannel experience are key topics but visionary IT and business Executives will go further down the road and explore new opportunities by investing in a new generation of integration platform enabling Customer Experience Networks.

 

Everything you need to know about Digital Platforms

Technology has revolutionized the go to market strategy of modern businesses. According to a recent Accenture report, “While it used to take Fortune 500 companies an average of 20 years to reach a billion-dollar valuation, today’s digital start-ups can get there in four years. Digital platforms are largely responsible for this shift.”

gafa_positioning

Large organizations have observed for several years helpless the fantastic growth of native digital giants (GAFA) and unicorns who have built their business model on a technology platform. They have now all understood the power of such as model and started to build their own Digital Platform that will become their new business model and accelerate the reach of new markets.

gafa_growth
Before giving a definition to what is a Digital Platform, let’s take a few examples:

  • Google search engine: “advertising” business model.
  • Social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn – “advertising” business model.
  • Knowlegde platforms aka forums such as StackOverflow – “advertising” business model.
  • Application stores: Apple/Google Play – “digital good” business model.
  • Market places: Amazon market place, shopping engines: “ecommerce” business model.
  • Media platforms: Spotify, Deezer – “subscription” business model.
  • Affiliate platforms: Commision Junction … – “earn as you perform” business model.
  • Crowd-sourcing platforms: Uber, BlablaCar, AirBnB – “pay as you go” business model
  • Repository platforms: GitHub – “freemium” business model: you pay only if you don’t want to share your code with the community.
  • Infrastructure platforms (IaaS): AWS, Azure –  “pay as you go” business model
  • Classifieds platforms: real estate … – “advertising” business model
  • etc…

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How would you define a Digital Platform?
There are many definitions on the Web, either too complex or too simplistic, so let’s define a Digital Platform with its key attributes.

#1 It is a technology-enabled business model.

#2 It facilitates exchanges between multiple groups – for example end users and producers – who don’t necessarily know each other.

#3 It offers a value that is proportional to the size of the community. There are network effects. A Digital Platform is worth nothing without its community.

#4 It is a trust enabler : it must generate trust with clear general terms and conditions regarding the intellectual property and data ownership. It also helps consumers and providers to trust each other within the network thanks to scoring mechanisms.

#5 It has open connectivity : it shares data with 3rd party developers to create new services and extend the ecosystem. This is done with APIs and participates to the API economy.

#6 It can scale massively to address millions of consumers without performance degradation.

#7 It offers compelling user experience: easy to use, no trainig needs, self-service.

#8 It has innovative business models based on the immediate value.

What are the benefits of a Digital Platform?

  • Generate revenue
  • Reduce costs
  • Foster collaboration and innovation for new products and services
  • Gain speed to put products on the targeted markets.

What is the size of this market?
According to Accenture, the platform’s market total value is $4,3 trillion. This pays for 1,3 million direct employees and several millions indirectly employeed at partner companies that service or complement platforms.