Yesterday, Symantec announced that it too was ordering up a bowl of the organizational strategy du jour and splitting itself into two independent, publicly traded companies, one focusing on security and the other on information management.
I have doubts whether simply splitting in two can spark innovation after nine years of gobbling up gargantuan (I still miss you, Veritas) and small vendors alike with little to show for it but operational indigestion. But I suppose anything is better than changing CEOs as frequently as I change the oil in my car and standing by and watching CISOs turn to completely new security brands as their trusted advisor. And there is this little matter of how mobile, social, cloud, and big data are completely transforming not only the way digital businesses compete and serve their customers but how technology vendors themselves deliver their own solutions and engage with their clients -- and Symantec isn't leading the charge in any of those market shifts.
Here’s an objection I sometimes hear when I talk to people about how improving customer experience can boost business performance: “Sure, it sounds great for glam industries like automotive or fashion. But I sell widgets.”
Okay, it’s fair to say that the business value of CX is more obvious for industries that advertise in magazines with slick, glossy paper. But the reality is that focusing on CX can also do a lot for less sexy industries.
That’s why we invited Olivier Mourrieras of E.On to speak at Forrester’s Forum for Customer Experience Professionals EMEA in London on November 17 and 18, 2014. E.On is one of the world's largest investor-owned electric utility service providers. And even though utilities don’t exactly captivate their customers, E.On has made huge, measured advances in the customer experience it provides, resulting in corresponding improvements to business results.
Olivier recently responded to our questions about what E.On has been doing and how it’s evolved. He gave us such amazingly detailed insight that I’ve broken his answers into two parts, with Part 1 appearing below.
I hope you enjoy what he has to say and I look forward to seeing some of you in London!
Q: When did your company first begin focusing on customer experience? Why?
Prior to 2009, customer focus had not been a crucial part of E.ON’s strategy. Customer satisfaction scores were often lower than market average scores across the group resulting in high customer churn.
October has arrived and it's time for what is becoming a fan-favorite series here at Forrester: the Security & Risk Analyst Spotlight Podcast featured in our bimonthly newsletter. This month, we're featuring 8-year Forrester veteran and analyst Heidi Shey, one of our leading analysts on data security and privacy. You'll hear some great insights from Heidi on clients' top challenges, surprising research findings, and upcoming research and vendors to watch. To download the MP3 version of the podcast, please click Read more
Forrester is helping its clients better understand the Age of the Customer, a tectonic business shift characterized by technology innovations that have empowered customers in new and disruptive ways. With computing power we could only have dreamed of just a generation ago now in the hands of well over a billion individuals, businesses are scrambling to keep up with relentlessly growing customer expectations and demands.
A recent Forrester report, called ‘The CIO's Blueprint For Strategy In The Age Of The Customer’, provides CIOs with a strategy to help their companies thrive in these new times. In addition to transforming customer experience with a measurable approach, the authors argue that customer obsessed organizations must:
I recently gave a speech about the impact of mobile on (all) commerce at a national retailer. To 450 terribly enthusiastic and mostly millennial employees celebrating a great eCommerce month. When I looked out at this horde of digital professionals -- merchandisers and marketers, designers and developers, writers and editors, testers and analyzers, the list goes on -- I realized that they are the operators of our digital experiences.
They are passionate about great digital experiences. But they have mostly crappy browser tools to do their job. In fact, every one of our planet's one billion websites is managed by someone using mostly crappy tools.
When I looked at at the throng of digital professionals, I suddenly realized they deserved some digital experience love, too. They deserved better digital tools. On any device. After all, they live out their working weeks in front of screens so that we, their customers, get great digital experiences. But today, the state of the art in browser design tools looks like scaffolding on a building where the result is unveiled at the end. It's anything but fun.
Weebly, supplier and hoster of 25 million content and commerce websites serving 200 million unique visitors monthly, decided to unshackle its digital professional customers from the tyrany of the browser and desktop. It built a native iPad app on iOS 8 to help them build and manage websites from anywhere at anytime. Weebly's digital professionals are now mobile. And that will lead them to be more in touch with the mobile moments of their customers, hence more able to serve them in their moments of need.
We're witnessing the mobile mind shift — an expectation that workers can be productive whenever, wherever they are. There's a surge of innovation in mobile technology as a part of broader business transformation to ensure that employees have access to the information they need to better serve customers during these critical mobile moments. Technology leaders have quickly seen the value of EMM solutions to ensure that employees have safe and reliable access to mobile devices and apps.
Mobile device management (MDM) is the common technology used by enterprises to enable their workforce to obtain the right access on their mobile devices. However, early solutions were only able to meet companies' very basic security and management needs for mobility. As business needs mature and employees demand more data access and mobile applications, vendors are adding mobile application management (MAM), secure containers and collaboration apps, secure network gateways, and more to their MDM solutions to create more comprehensive EMM suites to address these needs.
Spending time at the MDM/DG Summit in NYC this week demonstrated the wide spectrum of MDM implementations and stories out in the market. It certainly coincides with our upcoming MDM inquriry analysis where:
2014 was a year of massive eCommerce investment in India. Flipkart raised $1 billion; Amazon announced it would invest $2 billion in its Indian subsidiary; and Snapdeal raised $234 million from private equity firms and an undisclosed additional sum from private investors. These three players are spending approximately 2 billion rupees ($33 million) this season on marketing — and a lot more on improving last-mile delivery and adding fulfillment centers to get a bigger piece of the sales pie.
This morning, the NBA and ESPN are announcing terms of the renewal of their licensing contract. The numbers are huge, but that's not what caught my eye.
Early reports say that ESPN will launch a streaming service for live games — and viewers won't need a cable or satellite subscription to view them.
This is the first crack in the structure of the television business that has been in place for decades, in which the programmers and MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors, aka cable, satellite, and telco companies) have a strong co-dependence and why today viewers must authenticate their cable/satellite/telco subscription in order to stream programming from the TV-everywhere app or network app.
Will other networks and programmers follow suit? Will more consumers cut the cord if they can now get their live sports content online?
Stay tuned for more details . . .
Update 11:45 eastern time.
I just watched the video of the press conference. Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, and John Skipper, president of ESPN, both mentioned the new OTT service, but there are scant details and a promise for more later. Mr. Skipper down played the potential impact on pay TV, stating that "the preponderance of the deal is to invest in new products that go on pay TV . . . "and saying ". . . there is no contradiction in continuing to enhance and buttress the current system while building new businesses and new ways to reach fans. We think they are complementary."
Turner President David Levy emphasized that they retained TV-everywhere rights as well as NBA's digital properties, including NBATV, NBA.com, and League Pass, a service that streams games not broadcast.
Thinking you know your customers will no longer cut it when it comes to delivering a top-notch customer experience. To create the most compelling differentiated experiences, firms not only need to know their customers but also understand what their customers care about most.
Siqi Chen, Heyday cofounder and CEO, gets this. The "effortless journaling" app goes the extra mile to deliver a seamless delightful experience — particularly for first-time users "where there aren’t obvious motivations to invest," in Siqi’s words.
I had a chance to sit down with Siqi in advance of his keynote session at Forrester’s Forum For Customer Experience Professionals West to talk about how Heyday competes on experience in the competitive mobile playing field. Hear more of Heyday’s story next month in Anaheim, California, November 6th to 7th.
Q: When did your company first begin focusing on customer experience? Why?
A: We focused on the customer experience from the inception of the company. As a mobile company, the way our customers interact with their devices is intensely personal. We run on a device that is the primary computing device for most people, a device that is with our customers physically for most of their waking life and a device that our customers interact with in the most intimate way: through touch. Because of this, great products on mobile devices require a very high bar for attention to detail and emotional value, in addition to the foundations of speed and value delivered that every great product requires.
Q: What aspects of the experience that your company delivers matter most to your customers?