Digital-physical convergence brings customer experience to new levels
Disney’s personalized, waterproof wristbands employ radio frequency (RF), or Bluetooth technology. Adults can use them to make payments, open hotel room doors and provide their children with set spending limits.
Disney isn’t the only pioneer blending the distinctions between online and offline. Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), Macy’s, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Starbucks are also engaged in similar multi dimensional experiences.
MLB and NFL will feature iBeacon enabled experiences for fans in stadiums within the next year, offering ticketing, directions, location related videos and discounts and other features. Unique Experiences Burberry will have radio frequency identification (RFID) chips attached to clothes that prompt related photos and videos when the clothes are brought near screens in fitting areas. Lowe’s has a smartphone app for finding where a product is in its store, Starwood enables guests to unlock hotel room doors with their smartphones and Starbucks allows payment via Square or Apple Passbook apps.
Businesses that want to be successful in the world created by the perpetually connected will have to:
Overhaul their technology — all of it: consumer-facing digital products, services, and support; technology to equip employees; in-store technology; sales process and delivery chain
Hire people across the company who understand how digital interactivity affects their business role.
Evolve internal processes to incorporate new talent and technology in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
Restructure departments to implement these new processes in the smartest ways.
Rethink how and what they forecast, measure, and budget for.
Retrain their employees not just on these new processes and how to use the technology at their disposal but also on the speed and kind of service the new customer demands, whether that service is being delivered digitally, on the phone, or in person.
Manufacturing, distribution and information expertise once set one company apart from another. No longer, insists Forrester, which now insists that the only differentiator that really matters is consumer loyalty.
In its new report “Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer,” Forrester asserts that companies must be more than customer-focused — they must be customer-obsessed, according to Forrester analyst and report author Josh Bernoff.