Technology empowering agents to enable the delivery of Great Customer Experience is a recurrent, but still an amazing topic for discussion. This is exactly how I started the Article about the Top 10 takeaways from our Webinar #3, but this is the extent of the similarities between the 2 Webinars. What this new episode #5 brings to us is the perspective that all those amazing new technologies can be available to everyone and not only to the budget rich companies.
1) Technologies are tools and as such they are here to serve us and not all the way around.
2) There is no need for your company to spend a lot of time and money customizing the tools you use. You can buy simple off-the-shelf solutions and use the time and money to customize the service to your Customer.
3) Speed is the new currency in the marketplace. Time to market and reaction turn-around time are fundamental while dealing with your Customer base.
4) Within the Developers Communities there is a whole new world of collaboration and sharing that needs to be brought to market.
5) As larger companies lose agility to innovate as they grow, the startups, creating great new technologies and applications, with fast paced development cycles and agile concepts (MVP based) are becoming feeders to the large companies, that instead of investing in R&D, are curating solutions and acquiring the startups, but the flow never stops.
6) Some heads of startup communities, like SaaSteps, prefer to operate small communities (14 companies) that they actually use the products and know very well how to use, so that they can specialize on supporting the implementation, which makes it even faster to implement the solutions and those are more effective, to the benefit of the Customer.
7) Another gain is that by focusing a small quantity it is easier to monitor the value of the tool and easier to find a replacement to remain up to date with the technologies out there.
8) This model allows for very quick responses. The Covid-19 pandemic posed a challenge that only a very agile business model could solve. Because the 14 partners in SaaSteps community were very close, SaaSteps Customers could count on a very quick implementation to change their business model from in store to online.
9) Those companies which curate solutions for their Customers have a choice to make. They can either stay closer to their Customers to understand their pain points better, then go to the innovation ecosystem to find the right solution, or they can stay closer to the innovation ecosystem to be where the cutting-edge technologies are and then go to the market to find the Customer that will need it. In case you are closer to the Customer, you may not be able to find the solution the Customer needs and you will have to manage their frustration, especially if they expect you to come with a solution. To provide a better Customer Experience, it is easier to be closer to the innovation ecosystem. When you introduce a solution that you know intimately, your chances of delivering value and actually solving a problem with an inexpensive, fast and efficient solution are much higher.
10) While introducing a new technology it is important to recognize that the people within the organization may be affected and as such, the implementation strategy needs to be defined carefully. This will make the implementation faster, simpler and bring more chances of success.
11) SaaSteps has 3 verticals that need to work so a particular solution can be considered good. Cost Effectiveness, Implementation Simplicity and Effortless Use. Those are the criteria for a new solution to be introduced to their startup community.
12) The new economy calls for the use of Live Data. There is no more room for Static Data, which requires reconciliations. The speed of business and the need to provide fast responses to Customers require tools that will allow everyone in the process to see the same data at the same time. Blockchain solutions can offer that.
13) We are used to see the main technologies being used for the same solutions, for example Blockchain for Supply Chain applications. Being close to the innovation ecosystem allows the learning first hand of different than usual applications of the technologies, such as Blockchain for CRM uses.
14) Over time companies offered more channels for Customers to talk to them, becoming multi-channel. Very wise move, however, not being able to connect all the sources of information and interface with the Customers poses very big Customer Experience problems. The need to become Omni-channel is here to stay. Blockchain supported CRM solutions enable the implementation of true Omnichannel operational models.
15) Digitization of dysfunctional processes only makes you deliver “mess” faster and at scale.
16) Customers’ Expectations are developed across the entire cycle of interaction, from the power of the Brand, through the components of the Marketing Mix, the Social Media, the Sales Process, the Relationship Management, the Delivery, the After Sales Support, even the Disposition. Most Startups are created because of an unsuccessful Customer Experience, so they are constantly searching for the gaps in this entire process of Expectations Creation to come up with the use of some technology to address that gap.
17) Heading a small startup community allows you to have more influence on its outcome based on the feedbacks you collect from your Customers. It is easier to address Customer Experience issues.
18) Cold Calls and Mass Mailing (Spam) are gone. Very ineffective these days. Opportunity Based Marketing is the name of the game going forward. This means the use of technology to pinpoint a Customer ready to buy based on real-time digital signals. Those technologies are already available in small startups communities and accessible to everyone.
19) Closing comments by Ron Costa – Grow Real, Grow Slow.
20) Closing comments by Tim Beck – Build your technology stack as you go. Hire only the functionality you need today. Do not invest in functionality to be used in the future, because it is a bad use of your money. In the future that technology will be outdated and you have paid for it already, getting no benefit out of it. Small Startup Communities will allow you to buy only what you need.