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Technology as the enabler, not the driver
New technologies, however exciting they are, could be too complex to be adopted by customers and organisations. Customers prefer simple and relevant technologies that help them navigate life more conveniently. Therefore, pilots help organisations accurately assess their own readiness and market potential before launching, so that costly failure can be avoided. Many innovations are built on new technologies. While it is true that new technologies often create a positive customer experience, it remains challenging to accurately understand how, when and where to apply them.
New technologies may not serve customer needs
Big data, RFID, 4G, advanced analytics – the list of new technologies can go on. Technological innovations are the foundation of new products and services today. Interestingly, many of these products and services do not meet customer expectations as they are too technology-driven. Successful products and services address real-life issues, or offer convenience that is valued by customers.
Customers prefer simplicity
When customers decide which product or service to buy, they always demand a long list of features and capabilities. However, research suggests that customers are not always willing to pay for all the features they say they desire.
In reality, customers only use a fraction of the features they purchase. Understanding the core features of your offer from a customer point-of-view enables organisations to simplify their products. New products or services driven by technology often strike customers as too complex. Customers are frustrated when technology makes their experience less smooth.
There is an rising number of inter related systems and complex technical platforms behind many ‘simple’ services.
Are you ready?
The speed of technological innovations frequently exceeds what organisations can handle. Introducing more powerful and often more complex systems can stretch internal resources and the capabilities of the organisation. Therefore, it is important to recognise the ability, readiness and willingness of an organisation to adopt and use new technologies.
IT or engineering departments should not be solely responsible for developing new technologies for customers, because an organisation may easily lose sight of what matters the most – its customers. Technology, therefore, should be seen as one of the many tools to respond better and faster to customer demand.
From potential to capability
Customers notice or even suffer when an organisation is struggling to incorporate new solutions into its operation. When you have a brilliant idea, the challenge is to convert the potential into actual capability that enables you to deliver working products and services to the market.
To avoid expensive failure and costly fixes after launch, pilots and small trials in real-world settings can prepare a business to deal with a new solution ahead of the launch. More importantly, these tests help organisations understand in advance how the new services may have an impact on internal processes.
40 percent of businesses say they will increase investment in customer-facing systems
Move from potential to capability
Most new technologies and technical innovations hold great promise for businesses and their customers. The challenge is converting the potential into actual capability by delivering working products and services into the market.
Most organisations have a strong launch and then fix mentality which can result in expensive failures. Trials and pilots in real-world settings will provide insights into the customer experience and most importantly, understand the impact on the internal organisation.
It makes a huge difference if an organisation fully and accurately understands how, when and where to apply new technologies to improve customer experience. New products and services should be designed for optimal use. After all, offering products and services that are relevant to customers and simple to use gives your organisation competitive advantage.