Business models

have been democratised

Businesses have been through many cyclical changes before. However, this time the disruption isn’t within the industry: it’s with the consumer.

It’s driven by their expectations of a frictionless experience and a shift to faster, more agile business models – powered by technology. People expect more, which has been the enduring narrative since digital technologies penetrated consumer experience.

We see traditional business models under pressure, from significant shifts in revenue structures (such as legal and financial services) to breaking up intermediated channels (such as insurance broking and real estate).

In every case, this is the impact of digital technology. Its application has raised client expectations of responsive service, where every touchpoint is compared to their last great experience (from booking an Uber to online shopping, making a dinner reservation, transferring money, or watching Netflix). And it has revolutionised our access to knowledge.

Consumers expect the same level of comfort, control and convenience across every service touchpoint and interaction, whether human or digital. Meanwhile, technology provides opportunities for new channels, real-time data insights and complete transparency.

What will it take to thrive?

Link customer and employee experience

We see a common underlying theme across all industries: only with the most talented people and current technology can you compete with unexpected shifts in your business model, while providing an optimum customer experience. It’s this link between offer and customer that elevates the relationship beyond product or service. Businesses thrive when they can reduce friction between internal processes, product or service, and customer need.

There’s an established link between customer experience and employee experience. Given at least 90 per cent of businesses now compete primarily on the basis of customer experience, this makes your people a core competitive advantage.6

Look beyond technical capability

Business leaders consistently tell us through our benchmarking surveys that finding and retaining talent is their number one challenge. It’s been a constant for at least the past decade. Yet the type of talent many businesses now seek – especially in professional services sectors – has changed. It’s no longer enough to have technical capabilities: you need people who can think creatively and solve problems. People who are responsive and resilient. People who work well collaboratively and are encouraged to share different views.

While finding those people may mean looking outside traditional recruitment channels, keeping them means.

  • paying as much attention to employee engagement as you do to customer engagement
  • creating a culture that allows them to thrive individually
  • equipping them with the tools to perform efficiently, and at their best.

In turn, those people, whether frontline sales staff or back office support, will deliver a distinctive customer experience.

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