Customer Engagement

The Future of Business: A Customer Experience Imperative

Future of Business

Fridays with Vistage is a webinar series on relevant, timely and actionable business topics to help you generate results in your business. The summary below highlights takeaways from Brian Solis’, “What is the Future of Business: Thriving in an Era of Digital Darwinism.”  You may register for this Friday’s webinar with Aaron Ross,  “Create Predictable Revenue” by clicking here. 

Future of BusinessWe’ve all lived through the age of businesses such as Kodak, Borders and Blockbuster – brands once at the top of their game, now relegated to the history books. What caused their decline, while competitors like Canon, Amazon and Netflix broke through to become this generation’s powerhouses? In a recent Fridays with Vistage webinar, Brian Solis of the Altimeter Group explained the future of business, the concept of Digital Darwinism, how man companies fall victim to it, along with simple strategies for rising above the fray.

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist and futurist. With his work at Altimeter Group, he studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society.

The future is digital, with customers interacting digitally with companies by 69% more in the future. Brian advises making steps to grow and to change now -looking ahead in the future and solidify your stake in the market to come. Look at new processes with fresh perspective.

Digital Darwinism isn’t a myth! It’s the result of intentional business decisions that miss opportunities! Over 40% of the companies that were at the top of Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there in 2010. Consider these examples:

  • Kodak Moment: Kodak was sitting on the patents and technology that would become the future of digital photography! But their executives made a decision not to invest in digital for fear of cannibalizing the film industry. While they failed to recognize the opportunity to change, their competitors did, and easily overtook them.
  • Blockbuster Night: Remember Friday nights jockeying for position at the returns counter at Blockbuster? There was a moment in time where Blockbuster had an opportunity to buy Netflix for an extremely low price and turned it down! That moment was missed and Netflix took off and buried Blockbuster.

“Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.” Your brand is what people say about you when you are not around, and people are more likely than ever to share experiences. There is no excuse or nowhere to hide if you’re not providing world-class service:

  • 99% cited poor customer experience, such as having to repeat themselves or lengthy wait times – would be enough to switch brands entirely!
  • 84% of consumers will share a negative experience on social media/online communities.
  • 88% of consumers are less likely to buy from companies that ignore complaints or questions on social media.

The most frequently cited obstacle to digital transformation was ‘a lack of urgency.’ No one really believes they have to change! You may be profitable today, but today is already the past. What happens two or three years from now when your digital customer finally hits that ‘Kodak Moment’ and decides they want to do things too differently from you, affecting your bottom line?

Digital Transformation: Companies that are undergoing change through technology to become more relevant in a digital economy. Connected customers see the world differently – they see the world through an app! As we are becoming more connected, no matter what our age, we become more like digital customers:

  • 87% of millennials will only contact customer service when they can’t find an answer online.
  • Mobile blindness: In the grocery line, the impulse buys at the checkout lines are being dismantled because customers are on their phones instead of looking.
  • Death of TV: 5 million people ended their cable and broadband between 2010-2013!

The Essence of Digital Transformation: Optimize the entire customer journey and deliver real results against overarching business goals. 67% of buyers journey is now done digitally. Are you going to force your customer off of their phone and onto your website, or call center, or in person, forcing them to do business against the way they want to?

Question Everything! Brian invites you to ask:

  • What would my customer do?
  • How are they different from a traditional customer?
  • How is the digital employee different?

Digital transformation represents the quest to understand how technology affects the digital customer experience. To accelerate, we need to foster a culture of empathy and innovation, which is core to the future of work and competition.

The Fridays with Vistage webinar series provides members with timely and compelling business information they can immediately apply to their businesses. From strategic planning to employee engagement, these hour-long webinars feature the best thought leaders in the business world today.

Join us for the next Fridays with Vistage webinar this Friday at 10 a.m. PDT/ 1 p.m. EDT when Aaron Ross presents, “Create Predictable Revenue.” You will learn the three fatal sales mistakes sales leaders make, how to build an outbound sales machine that can triple your pipeline, and how to hire and grow the best kinds of sales people. You may register for this webinar by clicking here. 

Category: Customer Engagement


About the Author: Jackie Robles
  1. If you want to provide a good customer experience in order to stay competitive and successful, you must be investing in modern technology. These companies fell behind because they were ignoring the trends.

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