Businesses today must invest in understanding the customer from every perspective

03 July 2019 2 min. read
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Understanding the customer is now the central need for companies in a highly digitalised and homogenised world. Accenture Interactive’s Lead for Africa Dee Chetty has placed highly personalised service as the most crucial differentiating factor in today’s largely automated market environment. 

Chetty lauds the personalisation that was possible before services were digitalised, when those offering the services had a personal relationship with the customer and understood their varying needs and motivations. In today’s market, efficiency appears to have emerged as a bigger priority than such personalised service.

Accenture has been vocal and prominent in its efforts to ring in this post digital world, where digitalised services bring remarkable efficiency but lead to the loss of a personal relationship with customers. According to Accenture, customer management is the new differentiating factor in a sea of digitalised operations.

Accenture Interactive

Chetty calls for a shift in focus to the customer. “To get to this level of customer understanding and service, companies must move beyond simply knowing what customers purchase or consume and begin to understand why they made those choices. Are they a brand fanatic? Do they prefer certain colours, styles, or features? Do they have unique needs for allergies or accessibility? How would customers prefer to be engaged and serviced?” he says.

Such nuanced information allows for the construction of comprehensive customer profiles, which would do wonders for customer service. Customer needs are not only highly complex, but are also constantly evolving. As a result, information on a customer must not only be drawn from their purchase activity, but also from their activities in various walks of life.

“In fact, all interactions – such as mobile app usage, email responses, social interactions, poll submissions, in-person events attended, etc. – are comprised of descriptive attributes that shed light on each customer’s unique preferences, motivations and passions,” says Chetty.

“As one would expect, the development of a customer personalisation results in an explosion of rich and unprecedented information. This dramatic increase of knowledge requires more advanced methods, such as artificial intelligence, to determine the most relevant aspects of the customer personalisation to drive personalised recommendations, content, messaging, offers, and other subsequent interactions,” he added.