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The Future Of Customer Experience Will Be Personalized And Scalable

We kicked off our customer experience interviews with the insights that real-time analytics and human relationships will drive the future of customer experience.

Now we’ll get the industry perspective from Rakesh Shetty, Head of Marketing for SAP Services Industries including Banking, Insurance, Telecommunications, Media and more.

How do you define a customer-focused company these days?

Customer-focused companies continue to deliver value to their clients enabled by innovative products and services that simplify their clients’ lives and day to day operations. This applies to clients across the spectrum covering individuals, households, small businesses and corporations. Customer-focused companies as a result of this strategy continue to raise their revenues sustainably, manage their costs and grow profitably in compliance with the regulatory framework.

How do you balance the need for a better customer experience with the return on that investment?

Customer experience and Return on Investment are complementary metrics. Customer experience that continues to deliver value to clients enabled by innovation ensures sustainable ROI.

At what point do the traditional ways of organizing companies to deliver customer experiences (headquarters, field, online, call centers, resellers, etc.) get rethought or replaced?

We live in a hyper-connected society. One only needs to look at the emerging customers and their expectations to understand that they will dictate who they do business with and how they expect to be served going forward. As one example, a major Dutch insurer in the Netherlands builds their road map of future products and services portfolio by engaging primarily teenagers in their focus groups to understand their needs that the insurer will needs to serve in the next 3 to 5 years.

We’re hearing that customers want to be part of the development process, especially for consumer products. But people are also lazy and pressed for time. Are they really going to get involved? Why and how?

Clients are not lazy, rather they are informed and for the younger demographics of clients from developed to emerging economies rather well informed and one may add rather “opinionated”. They share their views on the channels of their choice with their peers. It for businesses to decide how they invest to understand the needs of their clients given their clients are already discussing publicly where, when and how they expect to be served by businesses.

What is the most extreme future that you could envision for the customer experience?

Customer experiences that are custom built to individual/household/small business/corporate requirements at cost models that scale across the customer spectrum. Today business offer tailored services to large corporate with services becoming more generic and less personalized as you move small businesses, households and individuals.

Early example of custom-built customer experiences: Reebok custom sneakers for each customer, Mercedes Benz / Volvo custom built cars for each customer.

Will companies stop selling products and services and start selling experiences?

Clients will define the experiences. Companies will need to bundle their products and services to enable experiences defined by their clients

How important is customer experience for B2B companies?

Extremely important, see Cloud based innovation SAP Financial Services Network that allows banks and financial institutions to deliver value added tailored services to their corporate customers at a scalable cost model.

What technologies do you see as enabling better customer experience?

  1. Big Data real-time insights
  2. Social networks
  3. Mobile
  4. Cloud-based services to deliver innovation and agility to bring on line new customer experiences

What are your thoughts on the opportunity to use your purchase history to improve customer experience versus privacy concerns?

Privacy and security concerns will get addressed.

How do large companies optimize the customer experience across all the channels available today?

Large companies have a lot of room for learning how to deliver tailored customer experiences across all the channels available today. A lot can be learnt by studying organizations like Amazon and Apple and emerging brand like Flipkart to name just a few.

Rakesh Shetty is Head of Marketing for Services Industries, SAP Marketing, responsible for Banking, Insurance, Telecommunications, Media, Transportation & Logistics, Professional Services and Engineering, Construction & Operations industries worldwide. 

He has worked in the financial services industry for over 18 years in a variety of roles delivering front and back office enterprise software solutions with assignments in Asia, Europe and the United States. Before joining SAP, Mr. Shetty has worked at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Siebel Systems. He has a Masters degree in Computer Science from State University of New York, Binghamton and a MBA in Finance & Marketing from New York University.

This post originally appeared on Business Innovation.

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