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New survey data suggests that only enterprise software optimized to deliver, not units, not revenue, but the inflection points that matter to customer experience, will be able to optimize the moment of service. 

Enterprise software is not only vital to enable businesses to address problems. The right solutions also enable organizations to shift away from selling products and instead focus on selling outcomes or services. By designing for the moment of service, organizations can understand what their customers truly need, and evolve their offering accordingly.  

And it is here where future opportunities lie. Speaking to the Financial Times at the start of 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that, “It’s no longer enough to merely sell a product. One also needs to develop new products from the data on these products.” Crucially, businesses need to use this data not just to develop new products, but to launch new services that enable them to extend the relationship with the customer, while simultaneously boosting revenues and enhancing the customer experience.  

This model is one mastered by big tech. Alexis Wichowski, a professor at Columbia University, describes the US tech giants as “net states”—digital non-state actors unrestrained by borders, which, in some cases, have more influence than major governments. They have become valuable by forming customer connections that are near constant. As she notes, “once you purchase a product, that’s sort of the end of the transaction, whereas with net states there’s an ongoing relationship on a daily, even hourly basis—as we upload data or use their service.” 

The dominance of big tech behemoths like Amazon is unsurprisingly a concern for business. The level of concern, however, is particularly notable. Businesses consistently ranked the changing expectations for customer experience and logistics driven by Amazon and other optimized businesses as the factor that makes it hardest for them to deliver successful customer experiences, retain customers and attract new ones—ranking it above Brexit and pandemic-related supply chain disruption. That’s according to Fixing the fundamentals: Understanding new business models and opportunities in the wake of Covid-19”—a new global study of more than 1,700 business executives and 12,500 consumers sponsored by IFS. 

Left behind 

The study showed how businesses’ ability to perform across a variety of customer experience inflection points have been impacted by Covid-19, Brexit, or both. In response, 51 percent of companies have already reengineered their business processes to deliver better customer experiences—proof that the moment of service movement has bolted from the gates and the time to get onboard is now. 

As companies evolve their customer experience, it is critical that they emulate the models popularized by tech giants to meet consumer demand. According to the study, some 43 percent of people are much more or somewhat likely to purchase products on a subscription basis, as a direct result of the rise of brands such as Netflix and Spotify. In the US, this figure is as high as 53 percent. These findings show us that there is a booming demand for subscription services that provide a key means for brands to boost sales while simultaneously enhancing the customer experience.  

Ultimately, however, it’s about being closer to customers. Understanding those all-important moments of service is an integral part in this journey. By establishing and optimizing moments of service, organizations can plan their business based on achieving advocacy, repeat purchase and margin improvements. This enables them to switch from being reactive to being predictive, and in the end, take a proactive approach to business orchestration.  

Enterprise software separates winners from losers 

This landscape has driven us to create IFS Cloud™. One integrated, complete, open, and connected Application Programming Interface (API)-first solution; IFS Cloud encompasses the entire suite of IFS capabilities, spanning ERPfield service management and enterprise asset management. By offering these capabilities in one single product, supported by one core underlying platform, companies can readily manage workflows across the entire spectrum of their business, carefully orchestrating complex, fast-moving processes, dataflows, workflows, material, people and so much more.  

By having this holistic view, organizations can anticipate customer needs, deliver high customer value, and achieve repeat business. They can ensure the right staff are always in the right place at the right time. And they can ensure assets work at maximum operational effectiveness, while plugging in the capabilities that suit their specific requirements. Through this approach, companies can run their business in an optimal way, deliver exactly what their customers want, on time and on quality, ultimately delivering that standout moment of service.  

Analysts talk about the ‘composable enterprise’. We want our customers to be able to mix and match pieces of the ERP, the asset management, the field service scheduling and optimization, customer engagement, and so on, into a composable application. IFS Cloud does this because it brings together all those capabilities on a single platform.
 

To read more about the moment of service, the value chain, and the rising importance of the customer experience, download the report for free here. 

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