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Elevating Customer Experience Through Hyperconnected Ecosystems

May 26, 2023

Arijit Bonnerjee   

Arijit Bonnerjee, Vice President & Head of India Region

Hyperconnected ecosystems which encompass all stakeholders are key to elevating the customer experience. In this article, Arijit Bonnerjee, Vice President and Head of India Region at Tata Communications, explores what hyperconnected ecosystems are and how they can be leveraged by businesses to truly add value.

Uh oh! This is awkward. Sorry, it looks like this product is out of stock.

Size not available! Due to popular demand, your shipment will take longer than usual.

You’ve probably experienced one or more of these scenarios while shopping online or making reservations/bookings, especially during peak seasons. Overwhelmed systems, slow processes and lack of timely response can severely test customer patience, especially in this era where they expect (and demand) a fast and streamlined shopping experience. Most often, the customer loses patience and moves on to another site or brand. According to Zendesk Trends Report, roughly 50% of customers will switch to a competitor after just one bad support experience.

Now let’s consider a slightly different outcome.

Priya is trying to buy a dress online. After selecting the one she likes and proceeding to the payment page, she sees a message saying the dress is not available. She abandons her cart and starts browsing for alternatives in another store. However, within 5 minutes of leaving the earlier website, she receives a call from their customer service team:

Agent: Hi Priya, we noticed that you visited our website and were trying to order a dress of size XX that ran out of stock. We’re sorry for the inconvenience but are happy to inform you that the same size will be back in stock tomorrow, and we could reserve one for you. Would you still be interested in buying it?

Priya is delighted as she’ll get the dress she wanted and impressed by the proactive service she is receiving.

Priya: Yes, that’s great! And can you deliver the dress to me tomorrow itself?

Agent: Yes. Just select our instant delivery option and it will be delivered tomorrow for just INR150 more.

Priya: That would be fantastic!

Agent: Great. We will place the order and you will be notified once the dress is in stock. Thank you for your time.

Priya gets a message once the dress is back in stock and completes her purchase. While doing so, she’s also shown matching accessories that could be delivered along with the dress. Priya opts to buy the accessories and even gets a discount on the order. She receives her purchases the very same day and is delighted with the entire experience.

“According to research by Accenture, 75% of companies are more likely to make a purchase from a company that knows their name, purchase history and recommends products based on their preferences.”

Now, let’s look behind the scenes at the systems that enabled Priya’s delightful shopping experience. Underpinning it was a connected and empowered agent (connected employee), a strong partner network (connected supply chain) that gave the agent visibility into when the item would be restocked and when they could ensure timely delivery, and a set of tools (connected things) to send recommendations (like the accessory suggestions) based on customer preferences (her choice of dress).

Essentially, Priya’s experience was powered by a hyperconnected ecosystem—one that encompasses all stakeholders from the employee to the partner to the customer and the user to truly add value and create a Total Experience (TX).

Such an ecosystem broadly comprises of:

Connected Customers

Creating compelling experiences for customers depends on being able to communicate, engage, and collaborate anytime, anywhere, and across any channel. In the above example, Priya was supported by a customer support team that not only started a proactive conversation but also guided her through the entire purchasing process with contextual options to speed up the delivery, following up via regular notifications on her preferred communication channel.

Connected Workforce

When organisations build a culture where employees feel valued, supported, and engaged, the outcome is usually exceptional. The agent in the above example was empowered with the tools needed, was engaged enough to reach out and build contextual conversations with the customer, and not only ensured the purchase was made, but also gave the customer a delightful shopping experience. The connectivity that made this possible is a very important determinant of not just experience but also productivity and efficiency.

Connected Infrastructure

Business agility in a hyperconnected ecosystem starts with infrastructure agility. IT infrastructure that can support rapid deployment and provisioning, scale up or down, and easy upgrades and improvements forms the foundation of a hyperconnected ecosystem.

Connected Solutions

Organizations are rapidly adopting an array of internet-of-things-enabled use cases to connect assets and derive actionable insights from the data that the connected assets are generating. Better data across the value chain can provide more visibility into demand forecasts and help optimize production.

Priya’s shopping experience, which very likely will ensure she becomes a repeat customer, is a small example of how a total experience that encompasses all stakeholders from the employee to the partner to the customer and the user can lead to an enhanced experience for each of them. To achieve this total experience, superior connectivity is key.

As such hyperconnected ecosystems are heavily technology dependent, businesses need the right partner who can help simplify and manage the complexity involved and provide end to end solutions. Companies like Tata communications brings together tools, platforms, skills and expertise to help you build agile infrastructure, enable compelling employee and customer experiences, deploy connected solutions and build digital trust.

To learn more about enhancing the customer experience through hyperconnected ecosystems, click here.