‘Code Halos’ are the digital fields of information that surround customers
They form the new basis of customer relationships
IN today’s rapidly digitising marketplace, organisations that cling to business models based on traditional approaches run the risk of becoming irrelevant and uncompetitive.
Hence, companies – those born in the digital era as well as those that are long-time industry stalwarts – are increasingly figuring out how to apply social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) technologies, as well as sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT), to achieve unprecedented business advantage.
To win the ‘code rush,’ companies are attempting to identify value creation opportunities in the digital economy, to reinvent enterprise processes and reshape customer experiences.
One of the most prominent touch-points of this ‘code rush’ that is highly developed and has the greatest impact is the customer interface – what we call customer ‘Code Halos’ or the digital fields of information that surround customers, result from their digital footprints, and form their virtual identities.
By gathering data and leveraging insights to enrich the customer experience, customer ‘Code Halos’ form the new basis of customer relationships.
Code is the new gold
As digital consumer technologies change and continue to transform customer expectations, more and more companies are increasingly placing emphasis on reimagining the entire customer experience.
The digital customer interface has become the focal point for businesses as Code Halos potentially allow the promise of mass customisation and personalisation for the customer to become a reality.
Almost 60% of respondents in a Cognizant survey reported valuing digital and customer-centric growth initiatives – such as customer retention and engagement, and creating new customer experiences – over traditional objectives such as geographic expansion and merger and acquisitions.
Cracking the Code Halo, embracing the digital trace and deciphering the fingerprint, are all activities that are opening up completely new, uncharted territories and launching a new gold rush – of potentially unprecedented dimensions – in which code is the new gold.
Data can originate from various customer touch-points and channels and introduce new possibilities for engagement and personalised services. Customer halos can provide valuable insights about product preferences, channel preferences, satisfaction levels, lifestyle events and risk profiles.
Using customer Code Halos, forward-thinking companies can better engage with their tech-savvy consumers.
As the Code Halo thinking unfolds, enterprises are placing customer at the centre of the corporate strategy to create more satisfying and personal experiences that drive innovation, loyalty and performance.
More than half of the survey respondents said customer data and analysis was the key element of their company's innovation efforts and another 47% said they believed that digitising the customer experience to deliver mass personalisation was a core strategic goal.
It is the true essence of building a personal relationship with customers in a digital environment.
Don’t get left behind
Companies need to rely less on familiar tools such as spreadsheets to capture vital customer information. This prevents a broad range of customer data from being uncollected, avoiding missed opportunities to develop and enhance digital profiles that illuminate Code Halos.
Companies should look to data such as browsing and spending history, demographics and Facebook ‘Likes,’ to bring out the true value of customer Code Halos.
Once data is collected, the next step is to turn it into information and then insight or foresight to create innovation potential. This allows companies to decode customer needs, preferences, sentiments and even grievances.
These digital footprints – combined with other halos, aided by smart devices – result in insights that companies can realise, in a fast and accurate manner.
Businesses that are furthest along in collecting and using customer data are seeing measurable return on their data programmes. They are able to maximise insights and foresights gleaned from the customer interface – where personal, process, organisation and device halos intersect.
Creating a gestalt from these digital details can make all the difference. This need for clairvoyance is exactly what Code Halos can fulfil, and many enterprises recognise this.
For instance, in the insurance sector, insurers can anticipate work-related risk exposures, leading to improved workplace safety and reduced worker’s compensation costs.
Workers equipped with wearable sensors could be alerted to immediate hazards through proactive analysis of their enterprise halo (machines and work processes in their functional area) and their personal halo (attitudinal disposition and vital health parameters).
This customer Code Halos generated by the unstructured data captured in the multitude of forms allows companies to derive valuable insights.
Many are beginning to see how the continuous interaction of a Code Halo-rich environment will ripen and deepen in a virtuous circle of ‘giving and getting,’ in which the value of the code individuals provide is positively outweighed by the value of the code they receive in return.
Nearly half (45%) of respondents said they expected digital profiles to spark gains in profitability.
Digital tools and techniques are advancing the way companies interact with customers and the ‘code that knows’ is the catalytic converter for this necessary business transformation.
Jayajyoti Sengupta is vice president and head of Asean and Greater China at Cognizant Technology Solutions.
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