“Last mile connectivity” is always taken for granted and used by everyone in everyday life. We could not live without it. Is such importance of the last mile also reflected appropriately in the vendor evaluation?
Whilst many companies spend significant time to evaluate and purchase software and tools which help to optimize processes, create and execute marketing campaigns, which run world class customer services or in the world of IoT create interaction between “Things”, many companies don´t care much about the last mile connect, respectively the last mile connectivity provider. Often neglected in this approach is the fact that it is the last mile which is the face to the customer and which is influencing the customer experience. The last mile is the driver in the digital transformation of the customer experience and it is the winning component to deliver the right output at the right time to the right person and device.
Imagine you have a high end stereo equipment but you connect it to lousy speakers? What a bad experience! Transfer this to the last mile connect scenario. No matter how good your systems run in the background, if the quality of the delivery is not at high class due to late delivery, wrong display or even failed delivery, the customer experience is terrible. With Social Media the worst case scenario is that this unpleasant experience is likely to be shared with friends and followers. The bad experience and brand damage goes viral and is hard to stop. Restoring a bad customer experience is not only much more expensive then sourcing a reliable supplier from start but also almost impossible in times of influential marketing and social media.
No doubt, good data quality and customer information across all access and data points are key to ensure a great customer experience in a digitized world. But ensuring a great experience is down to the last mile. Thus it is so important for enterprises to focus and invest into the last mile connectivity during the journey of digital transformation. Only carrier grade last mile delivery using SMS, E-Mail, Push or any other method of digital communication creates the great customer experience we as consumers deserve.
Not only in the world of marketing the last mile is relevant for a good customer experience. Using Push Notifications or 2-way SMS to inform about the upcoming delivery of ordered goods or enable the change of delivery time helps to create a fantastic customer experience as well as to optimize the delivery process in general. Such process optimization at the end helps to reduce costs which are much more significant compared to the cost savings offered by an unreliable low cost last mile provider. Not to forget that efficient communication also supports other company goals such as reduction of CO2 output by having less delivery attempts.
Another growing area of relevance is our more and more connected world. According to Gartner 22 billion Things will be connected by 2018. To monetize the benefits of connected Things a high amount of data needs to get processed and delivered. Connectivity, technology and interoperability issues need to be taken care off, data protection and local regulatory aspects need to be covered and at the end the customers want to scale and experience an uninterrupted service. What is the benefit of being connected if connection drops, is delayed or limited to a local or domestic scenario only? In the world of IoT it only makes sense if services are available cross boarder and to an international if not even global audience. Using multiple local providers cuts all benefits of scale, creates unnecessary points of failure and opens data protection concerns by the use of multiple systems. Winning in IoT is only possible having the right last mile provider.
Regardless of the area you are deploying the last mile connect in, the last mile is more than just a piece of technology. The last mile is your key asset for a successful digital transformation of your business, of running successful IoT solutions and most importantly to have a happy customer.
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