Stephen Fioretti, Vice President of Product Management at Oracle, discussed what it takes for today's organizations to keep pace with customer expectations in his presentation to Argyle's CX membership at the 2017 Customer Experience Leadership Forum in San Francisco on December 14. In his presentation, Fioretti offered tips to help CX professionals optimize the value of customer interactions.
According to Fioretti, the global marketplace is rapidly changing. No longer are customers willing to wait for organizations to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Instead, today's customers require outstanding products, services and support, and failure to meet customer expectations could cause an organization to fall behind its rivals.
Today's organizations must allocate time and resources to understand all aspects of CX. If an organization can connect with customers across multiple channels, it boosts its chances of fostering meaningful customer interactions. Plus, this organization can differentiate itself from the competition thanks in part to CX.
Ultimately, an organization must show its customers that it is willing to do whatever it takes to gain their trust. If an organization prioritizes CX, it may be better equipped than ever before to do just that.
"People's expectations in their business lives and consumer lives are skyrocketing," Fioretti stated. "People want options and choices in their engagements with brands, they want ease of effort and they want to see that the brand is giving maximum effort when they deliver experiences to their customers."
Customers have many choices, and organizations must differentiate themselves from the competition. By showing maximum effort in its day-to-day activities, an organization can stand out from rivals and boost the likelihood of building long-lasting customer partnerships.
"People are super-sensitive to change," Fioretti said. "Any change in brand or lack of effort is surely noticed, so it's really important for a brand to show maximum effort."
Furthermore, today's organizations must go above and beyond the call of duty to engage customers. If an organization constantly strives to exceed customer expectations, it can provide its customers with memorable experiences. Also, this organization can track customer patterns and trends and map out its CX efforts accordingly.
"It's not only meeting customer expectations, but it's also exceeding [them]," Fioretti noted. "And it's anticipating what [customer expectations] will be in three to five years."
An organization's willingness to adopt new technologies may play a major role in its ability to drive CX improvement as well.
"People want options and choices in their engagements with brands, they want ease of effort and they want to see that the brand is giving maximum effort when they deliver experiences to their customers."
For example, mobile technologies like smartphones and tablets connect organizations and customers like never before. If organizations can capitalize on mobile apps and other innovative channels, they could foster ongoing communications with customers.
"Smartphones are pervasive and taken for granted," Fioretti pointed out. "I have one button for voice communications and 27 for text or messaging communications. That shift shows the differences in the ways that people communicate with each other."
Organizations must drive multi-modal communications too. With a multi-modal approach to CX, organizations will be able to connect with customers across multiple channels at the same time.
"People are using mobile applications in a multi-modal way because they're using multiple applications at the same time," Fioretti said. "This whole world of multi-channel or omni-channel is changing so that people are on multiple applications [simultaneously]."
Moreover, organizations must realize the value of "tribal networks" to share information about their respective brands, products and services.
Tribal networks often help consumers share information with one another. They help consumers make informed decisions about different brands without having to directly interact with an organization.
"People are looking up information, and this is the way that people consume knowledge these days," Fioretti stated. "We use Google and look things up online. And more and more, we don't use the brand to get information. We use our tribal networks instead."
Organizations can make it simple for consumers to learn about their respective brands, products and services if they deploy user-friendly CX tools.
"Any change in brand or lack of effort is surely noticed, so it's really important for a brand to show maximum effort."
For instance, self-service and IVR systems now empower consumers to take a proactive approach to solve problems on their own. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) and other state-of-the-art technologies are becoming available to help consumers quickly and effortlessly connect with organizations.
"As more and more organic channels come up, people expect ease of effort … and it's really difficult for organizations to deliver this," Fioretti said. "You cannot have a conversation today without a customer having a conversation about AI or chatbots."
Organizations cannot rest on their laurels relative to CX. Conversely, organizations must learn about customer expectations and understand why consumers may choose one brand over another. If organizations take a comprehensive approach to CX, they can find innovative ways to partner with customers and stand out from the competition in a highly competitive global marketplace.
Stephen Fioretti has Outbound Product Management and Strategy responsibility for part of Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud portfolio. He drives strategy, product roadmap, field enablement, press and analyst relations and go-to-market initiatives. Previously, at Oracle and Siebel he has served as vice president of Product Management and Strategy for various CRM cloud and on-premise products.
Before joining Siebel in 2002, Fioretti was VP of Business Development at SeeCommerce. Prior to SeeCommerce, Mr. Fioretti spent 5 years at Hyperion Solutions, a leading provider of enterprise business performance management and business intelligence solutions, where he served in executive roles as VP of Marketing and VP of Alliances. Fioretti has spent over 25 years in the information technology industry, including sales, marketing and channel roles at Sybase and Hewlett-Packard. Mr. Fioretti holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of California at Davis. And a Master's of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of California at Los Angeles.