5 Trends Driving Change in Customer Experience

It's time for a fourth-generation CRM

When SAP introduced the new C/4HANA brand (formerly Hybris) during Sapphire this year, there was a lot of excitement, but also a bit of confusion. Some people are wondering what it all means. This blog article is the first in a series to give you a better understanding of SAP C/4HANA and what it means for your organization.

Let’s start with the five trends that are driving change in today’s customer experience. After all, that’s what C/4HANA is all about – delivering a great experience for your customers.

Digital First

Digital transformation is a fact. It’s here to stay. To remain competitive in the digital economy, businesses must adapt to technological change, work to improve the customer experience and look for new opportunities for growth. Digital is changing everything.

Customers for Life

For businesses responding to the enormous market forces in the digital economy, the customer relationship is everything. Rather than limiting the customer relationship to a single transaction, there’s a subtle shift taking place – from selling products to selling subscription-based services. That’s the path toward winning customers for life.

Single View of the Customer

Today’s customers have dramatically higher expectations for their buying experiences. They demand personalized service, more options and a consistent experience across all channels. To deliver on this, you need a nuanced understanding of your customers so that you can engage with them intelligently and deliver a richer buying experience tailored to their needs.

To gain insight into customer intent, you need to capture and consolidate real-time customer data into a single view. You need to put customers at the center of your business.

From B2B to B2B2C
One of the trends we’re seeing with B2B businesses is a move from the traditional B2B model to a B2B2C model. B2B companies can’t just walk away from their B2B roots; they’ve invested significantly building out that model. But blurring the lines between B2B and B2C allows them to digitally transform, keep pace with innovation and ultimately capitalize on more revenue opportunities.

Holistic Customer Experience

Customers don’t care about different departments or handovers. What they want is a seamless experience with your business that revolves around them, regardless of channel or department. To deliver on that, the front and back office must be connected so you can deliver a truly holistic customer experience. This is easy to say, but challenging to accomplish.

SAP C/4HANA works together with SAP S/4HANA to connect the front and back office, smoothing the path in one simple chain of processes. So while your customer enjoys dealing with just one entity in a single process – from awareness and consideration through to payment, receipt and nurture – your business processes can be linked in exactly the same way, from lead, opportunity and quote through to fulfillment and invoicing.

Trusted Data

Gaining customer trust is paramount. To do that, you need a solution for building digital relationships with customers based on transparency and trust. But this also raises the stakes around data privacy. Your customers don’t want their data used without their knowledge and consent.

Some businesses have tried to “go it alone” on customer experience initiatives that tap into CRM, data management and marketing platforms, but often the result is multiple, disparate data silos that make vital processes difficult, or even impossible, to run.

SAP Customer Data Cloud (formerly Gigya) can help you build a more secure and privacy-friendly digital ecosystem that will help you grow your audience, boost conversions and engagement, and foster long-term brand loyalty. Taking it a step further, SAP Customer Data Cloud can help your business address many of the requirements of GDPR and other data protection and privacy regulations (I’ll address this in more detail in a future blog post).

So there you have it.  What you need to deliver a stellar customer experience is a killer end-to-end process. Currently, only SAP has the combination of long experience and innovative cloud solutions that can deliver that end-to-end with combinations of product and process – all while keeping the customer at the center.

Want to learn more?  Look for our next blog article, Why It’s Time for a Fourth-Generation CRM.

You can also view the recording of our webinar, SAP C/4HANA: What Does it Mean for Your Organization?

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