So in the spirit of 'best of 2013,' combined with a few unsung gems, here's my rundown of the best of the customer experience on diginomica.
Customer profiles - highlights
Customers have an illuminating way of putting tech hype through the meat grinder of what actually works for their industry. Here's some of my favorite customer profiles from the site this year:
- Rentokil Initial: Lessons from a cloud ‘veteran’ - Kenny MacIver takes an in-depth look at Rentokil's 'bold leap' into a 25,000 person Google Apps deployment to a highly dispersed workforce. This story of a move from 'tech laggard' to cloud leader is backed up by the decision to plunge in, rather than tiptoe. For another digital transformation story, check out Kenny's Changing channels at the UK’s DWP.
- Blazing a digital path in professional services - Phil Wainewright did several posts on digital transformation in the professional services industry, including this piece on hhpberlin. Phil's lead quote frames his pieces nicely: 'Today’s mobile, collaborative computing platforms and a highly educated, self-directed workforce allow a radical rethinking of traditional enterprise structures.' You can follow those themes through on Phil's other profiles, including Servcorp’s multi-layer business infrastructure and Reed gets ready for the mobile office
- Drinking Starbucks digital brew - Stuart Lauchlan frequently hit on digital transformation in retail, including his popular pieces on Starbucks, which gets additional scrutiny as his personal office on the go. Also check out his Starbucks follow-on, Starbucks brews up faster digital customer experiences, which dishes on the much-anticipated Google Wi-Fi rollout. Stuart also wrote on Nestle's digital journey, and his pieces on the UK's cloud transitions are keepers. It wasn't all happy news on the digital front; Stuart also ripped into how Banks' digital strategies are failing customers.
- Banking for the unbanked with Standard Bank South Africa - Den and I are partial to video when it comes to telling customer stories. His trip to South Africa brought back some fascinating stories, including how Standard Bank's created a partnership with local community store keepers and mom and pop shops to create a network of some 7,000 ‘access points' - in a country where the lack of banking infrastructure is spurring innovation by necessity. For more: check out his companion post Understanding Africa. Den's YouTube channel also has plenty of customer stories from his travels.
Rethinking the digital customer
The team also issued pieces that frame the customer experience during a time when digital disruptions offer opportunities and perils in equal servings. Here's a few of my faves:
- Den on why Building the digital enterprise can’t be a rehash. His lead-in: 'I’ve been scratching my head the last few weeks wondering why, when we’re awash with technology, when it’s never been easier to connect and interconnect, that we see so many examples of failure to build upon what technology offers in a coherent, sustainable manner?'
- Stuart bravely takes on the 'omnichannel' buzzword in search of actual meaning in: why Omnichannel strategies need the customer at the centre. Stuart: 'At the end of the day, omnichannel will only really work if we all get back to the basics of CRM – and that means thinking about how we interact with our customers. And how those customers want us to interact with them.'
- Phil takes the notion of 'two-tier ERP', breaks it down and stands it up again in Two-tier: systems of record and engagement. In a statement that packs a wallop heading into 2014, Phil comments: 'The two-tier model helps us understand how the role of traditional client-server ERP systems will shrivel as the burden of running operations increasingly shifts to more modern systems of engagement.'
- Last but certainly not least, if you missed Paul Greenberg's five part diginomica exclusive, Social CRM Rethought, then refill your holiday coffee mug and get down to it. In addition to laying out 40 points of 21st Century CRM, Greenberg doesn't leave us hanging in part 5 - he gives us his updated definition of CRM.
I did a few pieces of my own on these themes. including my recent Q/A on BI disruptions with Derek Loranca, and Keller Williams on their move to the Google cloud. If you're interested in how to document project results in a winning format, check out my take on The forgotten art of the customer case study.
You can expect much more of the same from the diginomica team in 2014, but with new twists. One we're excited about: Jessica Twentyman will be joining our team as a contributing editor; customer profiles and analysis will be a key part of her editorial purview. So I can say without exaggeration: watch this space.
Image credit: business man showing concept of excellence © Warakorn - Fotolia.com