Guest Post by Simon Davies, Area Vice President, Enterprise Sales, Asia Vice President for ASEAN, Greater China and Korea Salesforce, Edited by Justin Lee
We are living in the single most innovative era in the history of technology, where everything and everyone is being connected, and a company’s relationship with its customers is the new bottom line. Three key trends have, and will continue to determine how businesses can thrive in this digitally defining age:
1. Data is for everyone, not just data scientists
With the Singapore government’s recent push to transform Asia’s innovation capital into the world’s first smart nation, investments will continue to be made in the area of data analytics. In January, the government hired its first chief data scientist, and universities are seeing an up-rise in demand for courses related to data sciences.
Businesses may however, be unaware that analysis from data is already within reach, without the steep entry point of being able to understand computer programming. There are cloud services, platforms and solutions available today that will enable almost any user to glean meaningful insights effortlessly from data that they can pull together into a series of graphs and actionable reports. These insights can in turn empower businesses to make better decisions on how to best interact with their customers.
2. Wearables are the next phase of the mobile revolution
While robust adoption of smartphones is set to continue, what will set businesses apart is an interest in wearables. According to Frost & Sullivan, the market for wearables in APAC is expected to grow to USD 37 billion over the next five years, a compound annual growth rate of around 34%. Several vendors are already developing or selling wearables (or a version of). What will become mainstream in 2015, is the harnessing of wearables as a conduit to understanding the customer better, in a new 24/7-on reality. There are definitely opportunities for greater customer service, customized customer experiences, and faster, safer service resolution with contextually-conscious sales applications built into these wearable devices.
For instance, frontline service staff equipped with smart glasses would be able to identify VIP guests through a quick glance and gain access to customer profiles instantaneously – what was purchased, and when the purchase was made – to deliver on a personalized one-on-one experience. Remote service technicians will be able to access live data, review plans for the equipment they are fixing and even receive real-time coaching through their glasses as they work.
3. Everyone needs a platform, and it needs to be accessed from the palm of your hand
The recent Google Consumer Barometer survey revealed that the average Singaporean uses a total of 3.3 connected devices, one of the highest in the world. It is thus no longer sufficient for businesses to just operate via a shop front. Today’s demanding customers expect businesses to respond in real-time to their issues. In order for businesses to succeed, they need a platform to capture and personalize every customer interaction.
To meet this challenge, businesses need to invest in effective platform applications to ensure that every customer interaction is captured, even those expressed on social media, making sure that no enquiry is missed or unresolved. This platform should ideally be device-agnostic, whether mobile, tablet or online. By the second half of 2015, businesses should expect seamless integration between mobile applications, cloud platforms and third party customer relationship management solutions.