A perfect storm is brewing where technology capabilities and consumer behavioural trends align.

Author:Davis, Kevin
Position::DATABASE AND NETWORK INTELLIGENCE: RESEARCH
 
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The emergence of new technologies in the last decade has irreversibly changed the way we live, work, and communicate; whether it is how we shop, bank or order a taxi. This shift hasn't been born out of a research and development facility but, more often than not, driven by customer behaviour, leaving many businesses struggling to keep pace within a rapidly changing market.

Embracing and keeping pace with accelerating change can provide an organisation with the ability to exploit and maximise the opportunity to reflect the customer's evolving wants and needs in a compelling way. New technology, when successful married to end user expectations, will continue to disrupt existing business models and market sectors.

In order to exceed customer expectations, businesses must pay attention to how customers interact with the technology platforms and interfaces they use to access products and services. The goal being to exploit technology advancements to ensure a high level of customer engagement and satisfaction.

As with many aspects of business, customers are unpredictable.

Text messaging (SMS) is an often cited example of a technology whose evolution and huge popularity was driven by a combination of consumer behaviour, advances in network technology and mobile device features. No-one could have predicted that SMS messaging would overtake voice as a preferred form of communication, or for that matter the emergence of "text speak" [1]. Even in the age of smartphones and a proliferation of messaging apps, SMS maintains the highest engagement rate because it is agnostic of devices, operating systems and mobile app boundaries; it also requires no web connectivity. Its use in two factor authentication and application-to-person communication (e.g. payment confirmation), maintains its relevance and continued popularity within the consumer domain.

Customers adapt and use platforms in ways we cannot predict. Therefore, it is imperative that organisations have processes in place to anticipate, detect and respond to the behaviour of their customers.

Organisations need to create a connected interface between themselves and their customer base, enabling them to both listen to and absorb customer feedback, as well as obtain sentiment. In such a fast-paced and competitive generation, flexible processes and interfaces need to be customer-centric. The garnered feedback must be acted upon and shared with the entire business to ensure cultural alignment throughout...

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