Re-examining Priorities for CIOs & CTOs: Where is the Customer? Be There!

As CIOs and CTOs lean on agility in 2021, re-examining priorities after a year like none other, they should be thinking about their customers. Customers are never too far from any business professional’s mind, and for CIOs and CTOs, the goal is meeting customer needs via technology. We suggest a key goal for CIOs and CTOs: find where the customer is, and be there. 

It might sound like a simple goal, but it requires a close look at customer preferences. Then, CIOs and CTOs need to use technology to ensure the organization is following those customer preferences, of when, where, and how they will connect. By delivering services based on this information, organizations are more likely to capture customers and keep them loyal.

Understanding Changes in Customer Behavior and Preferences

Everyone in the world has gone through a major shift in how we live after the COVID-19 crisis struck in 2020. Now, we are slowly moving out of crisis mode and starting to survey the impact, both in the present and immediate future, and long-term. All signs point to changed customer behavior and preferences, which means organizations have to adapt yet again.

A McKinsey study shows that users are showing a preference for businesses close to home and further migrating to digital. They are wanting to get information online, which is why McKinsey suggests a focus on a seamless omnichannel experience. Organizations, they say, need to stay relevant across multiple touchpoints and allocate resources in line with customer behavior. 

Another key point from the McKinsey study is that customers are mainly choosing with whom to engage based on loyalty. For organizations to win this loyalty shift, according to McKinsey, they must ensure a first-class customer relationship management system and foster trust. 

KPMG notes organizations need not just to know their customers, but also know their customers’ circumstances. They say that the organizations most likely to prosper are those that adapt business models quickly based on this understanding of customers. Personalization should be based on a deep understanding of customer needs, rather than a surface-level attempt, with a humanized and easy approach. 

How to Find and Meet Customer Needs

One way to deeply understand customers is social listening, which takes regular social media monitoring further. Social listening looks for keywords, topics, and content that is relevant to an organization, finding the discussions and posts that provide insight. Then, analysis follows, revising how customers respond to an organization and changing priorities and approaches to align.

As highlighted on Twitter’s blog, social listening is a matter of using technology to hear what customers are saying, then taking action. When Netflix and ESPN created a documentary series on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, they planned a release date. Customers got on social media to ask for it earlier, with COVID impacting the NBA season. ESPN heard their customers and met them where they were at, releasing the documentary early and garnering a lot of loyalty as a result.

This is one small example of using social media, where your customers are, to re-examine priorities and plans. Conversations have moved online now more than ever, and with a good plan for social listening, your organization can easily listen in. There is no better way to understand what customers want than hearing it directly from them.

Be Prepared to Answer Questions and Provide Information 

Enterprise content management works behind the scenes, ensuring organizations can provide information to the people and systems that require it. When customers have questions, the answers are right at the organization’s fingertips. It’s an extension of social listening and other methods of being where customers are — identify their needs, then meet them with efficient access to information.

Enterprise content management has the added bonus of meeting your staff where they are at, too. Because these systems organize and streamline data, employees are more productive, and spend less time struggling to solve problems. It can also improve remote or work from home capabilities, providing the same access to information no matter where a worker is located.

However your organization finds customers and pivots to suit their preferences, having the right technology and tools is critical. GroupLink everything HelpDeskGroupLink Workflow Process & Incident Tracking, and GroupLink for SafestSchools  offer excellent eWorkflow, WFH, and ITSM capability to streamline operations for success. We are here to help you turn your priorities into action.

Keep an eye out for the rest of this series. Our next article, Re-examining Priorities for CIOs & CTOs: Using intelligent decision-making to Accelerate automation, looks at using automation in your new digital approach. 

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