In the digital era, the tug-of-rope for power has veered in favour of the customer, as consumers are always connected to the internet where they can search for information and reviews on products and services as well as on their social networks through which they can ask their peers for advice on the best products or services to meet their needs.
Often, these well-informed customers now only venture into a retail store to see and feel the quality of a product, before buying it online from the comfort of their living rooms, demonstrating the need for greater focus on digital and mobile customer experiences than experienced before. This means that in order to succeed in the current challenging business environment, companies need to optimize the customer experience across channels and device form factors.
Businesses need the right partner that will help them connect every customer interaction across all of channels and ultimately help them meet their online and mobile conversion, and customer retention objectives.
“The time has long since past when having a good user experience (UX) is seen as a nice-to-have; the digital era has seen it become part of a user’s expectations. To respond to this demand, SAP Africa is offering a new portfolio of design services that leverage proven methodologies, ranging from strategy to implementation, and are proven to improve user efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction,” said Sahmeer Alli, Industry Value Engineer for Consumer Industries at SAP Africa.
An example of a company maximizing the user experience for its customers is of an International Soft-drinks Manufacturer which will be opening a web shop to bring the advantage of online shopping to customers ordering beverages in a range of different countries and environments.
Refreshing B2B customer experience
Traditionally, the company ran several call centres for customers ordering by phone, with business developers serving their customers as regional selling agents. The company wanted an additional sales channel, namely a web shop, which would allow customers to place orders online.
The primary challenge was to ensure high customer acceptance of the web shop and for this to happen, the task of ordering items needed to be easy and convenient. They approached SAP Design Services to observe and interview the target group in order to discover their needs and requirements.
Following the analyses of the field research, the large volume of data was used to create personas and user stories that described their typical customers. With the help of these basic findings, interaction designers from SAP managed to create wireframes of the online shop, reviewed the interaction design with the customer, and then created mock-ups using the company’s corporate identity to transport the brand values.
“What this project illustrated was that companies need to fully understand the needs of its users before going on to match these to the right UX strategy,” said Alli. “By doing so, companies will be empowered to impress customers across channels and multiple points of customer engagement and provide a boost to customer loyalty,” Alli concluded.
In essence, when companies offer value-added services, they are more likely to cultivate strong customer loyalty providing a competitive advantage. By utilizing modern technology, retailers are now offering value-added services to transform shopping into a comprehensive, enjoyable experience.