It is no secret that to achieve sustainable growth in this expanding global market, Australian businesses need to differentiate.
This is becoming increasingly difficult for companies operating in a range of industries:
- Technology, utilities, insurance and banking companies are struggling with commoditisation, increased regulation and a saturated market.
- Consumer goods and retail organisations are faced with the rise of online shopping, increased and varied competition, and inflating overheads.
- Government, health, community services and education are all operating in an environment of volatility, where funding, policies and regulations are all subject to change.
How can Australian businesses differentiate and achieve sustainable growth in this landscape of change, technological complexity and increased competition?
The answer lies in creating a unique customer experience. A differentiated customer experience drives customer satisfaction, word of mouth and customer advocacy - which in turn helps drive market share and revenue growth.
And how do you create a differentiated customer experience? In a country where almost 90 percent of people own a smartphone and around 60 percent own a tablet, one clear option is through Digital Experience. Australians love their phones and they love their apps. They love to use them to work, play, watch, interact, discuss, engage, connect and purchase.
How can you tap into that passion for apps to improve customer experience?
In my experience, the ability of an app to change a customer's experience is astounding. Take for example a gas company that was struggling to differentiate its gas against cheaper Chinese gas. Its customers (mostly businesses) were seeing no advantage in purchasing through this gas company.
That was, until they were able to deploy a scanning app that dramatically enhanced the purchasing experience. The app removed all paper forms, streamlined and automated the process of ordering and taking payments, reduced the purchasing time from 10 minutes to two - all executed through a slick, customer friendly and engaging app.
There are so many ways applications can help you to reach new customers, improve customer experience, build an emotional bond with customers, and differentiate from the competition.
One way is a pre-built app that digitises business processes to inform employees, help them make better use of their time and perform at a higher level in front of customers - for example, enabling better patient care via nurses with a job dispatch app.
Another option is a bespoke app that enables your customers to engage with you in different, dynamic and exiting ways.
The building industry is a good example of this, with the introduction of augmented reality into the sector. Let's not forget entire market disruptors like Uber.
Apps represent an opportunity for all businesses to realise agility benefits. By 2017, the mobile applications market is expected to increase by 31.7 percent (IDC) and by 2018, more than 50 percent of users will choose a tablet or smartphone for all online activities (Gartner).
We are seeing this customer experience transformation across so many businesses and industries - from B2B, healthcare providers, utilities, government agencies and professional services through to supply chain and manufacturing.
However the question you have to ask yourself is this, if your customers aren't getting appy with you, are they really happy with you?
Read more on mobility in The Fusion of Financial Services, Mobility and Identity.
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