As we look forward to The Disruptive Advantage event on Thursday 18 October in London’s County Hall, Angus McBride, Head of Digital Services at Capita IT and Networks, discusses what digital disruption means to him, and how Capita is making a genuine difference to its customers.
Digital disruption is often a much overused term. For me, it’s all about the opportunities that are presented as a result of the increasing pace of technological development and the difference these advances are making to our daily lives. Across all sectors and industries today, there’s massive focus on developing personal relationships with customers, and digital technology is front and centre of this movement.
Think about the past in retail, banking and business in general, customers knew their bank managers, shop owners, and doctors by name. Businesses worked hard to build genuine relationships with their customers and were able to advise them on products and services based on their knowledge of previous purchases, ensuring their customers experienced genuine engagement at each transaction. However, as time has passed, those crucial relationships between businesses and customers seems to have entered a state of flux. Today, most millennials have never met their bank manager, and many don’t even know their registered doctor.
Customers generally don’t have anywhere near the same connection with businesses that they used to enjoy long before the digital revolution. At the same time however, there’s been huge advances in communication technology outside of the business to consumer world, with social media and instant messaging providing instantaneous communication. It therefore isn’t surprising that consumers are yearning for that personalised experience and to feel valued by the businesses they engage with.
Moreover, and key to Future Focus, businesses are realising one of the ways they can foster a disruptive advantage is to provide that personalised experience on all platforms utilised by their customers. Customers expect a much better experience when dealing with companies that provide a consistent and personalised experience on multiple platforms. For me, this notion is the very embodiment of the disruptive advantage.
Genuine disruptive advantage happens when companies have visibility (across all of their touch-points) of who their customers are, what they have bought, what they are interested in, and what, equally importantly, is not of relevance to them. For utility providers, for example, digital disruption can be as simple as providing not just a bill, but a tailored explanation of why their expenditure is higher or lower than normal. Perhaps a particularly cold winter has had a clear impact? Or maybe 2018’s incredible summer is responsible for the 40 per cent decrease in usage from the previous quarter?
Attaining a truly disruptive advantage also means ensuring businesses exist consistently across the various channels and platforms in which their customers engage. Companies face being disrupted when they invest in just one or two areas, such as their website or call centre, but if they don’t also have the ability to engage with their customers on key social channels, live web feeds, and via integrated CRM’s, they will begin to digitally disconnect from their customers. Digitally advantageous organisations provide true omni-channel touchpoints for their customers, and are consistent across all of their respective platforms.
One of the reasons why I enjoy my role within Capita is because we as a company recognise the importance of not focusing on individual technologies, but on providing genuine digital services and technologies around the requirements of our individual customers. One size, in our opinion, certainly does not fit all. We provide greater value to our customers by focusing first on areas including agile development, where customers can utilise the power of new technologies within a matter of weeks, instead of waiting for installations of heavy technologies that may be out-dated by the time they’re rolled-out.
It’s true what they say, ‘the customer is always right’ and, when we begin to apply this logic and appreciate the discipline of the disruptive advantage, we begin to see the possibilities unfold. The possibilities it seems, are limited only by our imagination and our desire to keep pace with the digital evolution.
Visit The Disruptive Advantage event page for more information on the agenda, speakers, workshops and how to register.