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Customer experience and commercial success

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In a customer-centric world, every organisation is focusing on customer experience, however, many do not understand the fundamentals nor how to measure its effectiveness.

Recognised as the main driver of digital transformation and a top strategic measurement for organisational performance, a suitable CX approach allows companies to stand out and differentiate themselves from competitors while contributing to their commercial success.

When it comes to customer loyalty, 87.2% of organisations agree that this can be directly linked to commercial success. CX triumphs, still seen as the number one measure of strategic performance, according to Dimension Data. In fact, 62.4% see the benefit in evolving their CX transformation strategies to stand out from competitors.

Measuring return on experience (ROX) is becoming more important than return on investment (ROI). This boils down to the fact that ROX helps companies understand the return they are getting on investments that are directly linked to customer interaction with their brand.

According to PwC, a ROX framework focuses on driving habitual behaviours that will ultimately make a lasting impact on a customer’s experience, while finding ways to measure key experience metrics which allows companies to see whether they are on the right track.

Value creation

Far too often, organisations efforts swallow up a significant investment while delivering minimal impact. Unable to identify root causes of customer dissatisfaction, the initiatives organisations believe stimulate value creation prove elusive.

The balance of power has shifted. Today, consumers are king, more empowered than ever before. As a result, it is critical that companies become flexible, ready to adapt to ever-changing customer demands and rising expectations. It is no longer about making people want products, rather it is about making products people want.

Value proposition

A powerful value proposition not only improves customer understanding and engagement but helps them understand the value of a company’s services and products. At the same time, it illustrates the benefits of the products while proving to customers that they are the best available option.

Creating a strong value proposition starts with a basic asset test, cost vs. quality. The market determines what the value will be at the end of the day. When a new product is launched, but customers do not see the value in it, they simply will not purchase it. A company needs to get the logic and cost right as successful programmes require structured approaches.

Adoption rate

Brands that are continually developing new and exciting products can measure success by looking at the adoption rate.

If customers do not see the value in a product, and are not actively engaging with it, they will never see the true value of their investment. Without a clear return in sight, they are just a churn waiting to happen.

For example, when SYSPRO brings out a new technology, the company needs to make sure that the value is what the market is looking for.

To do this, SYSPRO gains an in-depth understanding of its customers and the industries they play in. By bringing all these factors together, SYSPRO develops cutting-edge Enterprise Resource (ERP) Systems, ensuring the product will add real value to a customer’s business.

At the end of the day, the market typically determines the value of a product or service. So, keep this in mind.

Track success

Organisations are still struggling to overcome the challenges of system integration and varying data formats. As a result, channels are managed separately, with tracking done individually resulting in lack of visibility of the CX journey across channels.  Being able to efficiently track the products market entry success rate is an integral part of any organisation, regardless of industry.

Remembering that there is an emotional element when embarking and maintaining relationships will create customer loyalty.

Customer churn

Another good indicator to measure success of a company’s investment is by looking at the customer churn rate.

Companies need to try forecast how many potential customers they may lose in a year and why by analysing the situation while conducting extensive research to see what the churn rate is in comparison to competitors.

Key account management

When accessing and engaging with customers, companies need to have a key account management structure.

Keeping in mind, you cannot be everything to everybody, so by having a structure in place ensures customers are on the right journey, while continuously providing high levels of engagement with them. 

Key account management will take the company strategy and convert it, ensuring all stakeholders are delivering and meeting organisational objectives and core strategy.

Customer expectations have shifted, and advancements in technology are making the biggest impact on organisations since the birth of the information age. To adapt and remain competitive, businesses need to strategically navigate the challenges of the digital age by finding new ways to generate economic value, and drive growth.

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Huawei Mate Xs foldable goes beyond design

The new foldable handset from Huawei ups the game with great performance and improved hinge design, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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“Falcon Wing Design.” Run those words over your tongue. It sounds cool, it looks cool and it feels cool. And it sums up the high-tech engineering that will make the new foldable handset from Huawei a formidable competitor in this fast-growing segment.

But it is not only design that sets the new Huawei Mate Xs apart. Unlike its predecessor, the Mate X, the device runs on EMUI10.0.1, an operating system based on Android Open Source Project. The software is based on Google’s mobile operating system, but is not affected by the United States government ban on Huawei using American technology. That means the phone operates like an Android 10 phone, but does not run Google Mobile Services (GMS), which includes the Play Store and its automatically updated apps.

Instead, it uses Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), which replaces the likes of Google Assistant with Huawei Assistant, and allows services like Gmail to run on top of a built-in email service. It allows browser-based versions of any Google service, like YouTube, to be accessed via an on-board browser,  and includes workarounds for various other commonly used Google apps.

At first sight, one gets the sense that HMS and EMUI10.0.1 will quickly teach users that they are not as heavily dependent on Google apps as they may have imagined. Our first half hour spent on the phone suggested very little commonplace functionality that was not easily available. On a personal level, once Gmail is sorted for me, my apps needs are highly specific, rather than being dictated by an ecosystem – whether HMS or GMS.

But let’s get back to the Falcon Wing design. It was first used on the origjnal Mate X, but the new version, which features more than 100 interlocking parts, is made with a zirconium-based liquid metal, resulting in a hinge that is both more durable and provides a more satisfying 180-degree fold.

@arr2gee

#Huawei’s new foldable #smartphone is our. Check out the #MateXs in folding action #foryou

♬ original sound – arr2gee

The flexible display uses a two-layer polymer structure, manufactured by adhering two layers of aerospace-grade polyimide with an optically clear adhesive. This, says Huawei, allows the display to produce great image quality, colour saturation and brightness while retaining a high degree of durability. 

In folded mode, the Mate Xs is a dual-screen smartphone, with a 6.6-inch main screen on the front and a 6.38-inch secondary screen on the back. The secondary screen folds into an edge which serves as a grip when the device unfolds into an 8-inch tablet.

Unfolded, the Xs comes into its own. It offers Multi-screen Collaboration, which Huawei says “breaks down the boundaries between Windows and Android devices”. This means that it allows content to be moved easily between supported devices, and can allow two systems to be controlled from one device.

The phone also provides seamless Multi-window support, allowing two apps to be opened side by side, with a third one “floating” on top, and allowing content to be dragged between the apps – including text, images and documents. The Floating Window can be used to respond to instant messaging, for example, without closing the other apps.

Talking of apps, the Mate Xs debuts a revamped AppGallery, which Huawei intends to develop as a replacement for the Google Play Store. The company would, of course, want to suggest that it is a superior option, but that could take a few years more.

Read more on the next page about the cameras on the Mate Xs, along with the device specs.

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Surviving tax season: An accountant’s tech guide

As we approach the February tax-year deadline, Xero SA country manager COLIN TIMMIS offers tech tips for tackling the number-crunching

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We’re approaching the end of February, which means it’s officially coming to the end of the tax and financial year. It’s a difficult time for accountants and businesses as admin piles up, and task lists get longer by the day. And to top it all off, it’s summer too.

The good news is that it doesn’t need to be a time drain. Research from Xero found that accountants can save up to 15 hours a week by using cloud accounting. That’s an average of 54 hours per month or 27 days – an entire annual holiday allowance, plus change. When respondents were asked what they would do with this spare time, of those who chose non-work related activities, 30% would spend more time with family, while 22% selected more time at the beach.

Together with Simon Magner, Xero partner and Director of Iridium Business Solutions, we’ve come up with a checklist to help accountants and small businesses prepare for this busy time.

Ensure your bookkeeping is up to date

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that your bookkeeping is accurate and up to date. You don’t want to be scrambling for the information that you need at the last minute – doing the legwork to make sure all the data is ready will pay off in dividends when you come to generating the year-end report.

Check employee data

Remember that your employee data needs to be up to date, and it isn’t up to your employees to sort this out. If it’s not your responsibility to collect this data, warn the relevant people about the year-end in advance. You’ll need to gather all information on payroll and bonuses, while also collecting all receipts for expenses.

Use technology to help you

Admin-heavy work like invoicing, transaction imports, reconciliation, payments – and more – are time-consuming. Even though software can do all these tasks, they’re often done manually by accountants and business owners – which means there is more room for human error. Xero research reflects this too – a quarter of accounting and finance professionals said they could work smarter if they spent fewer hours on administrative tasks.

Having up to date records in real time using cloud accounting software allows you to make better business decisions in terms of your tax position and avoid any costly mistakes.

Don’t let the leap year fool you

Even though 2020 is a leap year, the last working day is the 28th of February – so don’t think you can file your return on the 29th. On that note, don’t leave it until the 28th, either – just in case issues pop up at SARS on the last filing day of the tax year.

Use previous data to guide you

Remember to use past data to inform your current return. Last year’s assessed profit should be used as a starting point to determine the minimum tax you should be paying as a business. And remember, if you made an assessed loss in prior years you could deduct it against the current year’s profits.

When experienced accounting professionals and business owners have to spend time inputting data, processing reports, and scrutinising invoices, they can’t work on strategy, pursue new business or developing client relationships. If accountants want to spend some time away from their desks during tax season, they need to invest in the right processes. It will save them time, energy and costly mistakes.

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