Nompumelelo Mokou, Managing Director, Dimension Data Southern Africa.
For more than four decades, Joe Girard has held an impressive world record: 1 424 cars sold in a year – not as fleets, but each to an individual. Since 1973, it’s remained unbroken. Girard shared his secret in his book How To Sell Anything To Anyone. What was this special technique? He kept detailed records of all his customers, including notes about their cars, their spouses, their children, birthdays, anniversaries and even their friends. He’d give them calls just to keep in touch and was quick to reach out when he saw a child reaching driving age or if a spouse’s vehicle was starting to get a bit old.
Girard could sell, cross-sell and up-sell because he used the personal touch. And while not every business can be as fortunate as hiring a Joe Girard, they do have access to the next best thing – an excellent customer experience (CX) culture empowered through data and digital technologies. Yet even though such means exist, many organisations struggle to realise their customer experience visions, says Nompumelelo Mokou, recently appointed Managing Director of Dimension Data, Southern Africa. Mokou previously held the role of Executive: Intelligent Customer Experience and she shares with us her thoughts and insights on what it means to transform the customer’s experience.
“It’s a delicate balance of technology, people, and processes, one that can fundamentally change how an organisation is perceived. The customer journey needs to be managed intelligently so it becomes personalised, digitised, and engaging. Today, the customer is far more digitally focused and wants to engage with companies that can interact with them on the digital and virtual plane, while still enjoying the ability to connect with people, when needed.”
Companies look to those insights to help retain clients as well as attract new ones. This outcome is often the very core of an organisations value. Dimension Data’s Intelligent Customer Experience go-to-market focuses specifically on the customer experience question. It’s here that this key go-to-market realises their clients’ visions.
Expanding the CX effect
81.6% of organisations agree that CX is a competitive differentiator and indicator of strategic performance, according to NTT’s 2020 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report. Yet only 12.1%’s customers rated their CX highly. There is an apparent disconnect between ambition and reality, a gap that Dimension Data strives to address.
“How do I continue being competitive, and continue to retain and satisfy my customers? There is an over-reliance on technology to achieve good CX, and while technology is very important, especially how you use your data, that’s not the sweet spot,” says Mokou.
Dimension Data has offered CX transformation for quite a while, though primarily focusing on call centres. But as end-customer channels grow into the digital world to include apps, websites, chat services, and such, CX needs to evolve as well.
In addition to this, the relationship between CX and data isn’t being used as effectively as it should be. Though many organisations know that their customer data is a trove of insight towards a personal touch, these conversations remain dominated by technological concerns and not the CX vision of the organisation. Yet technology is essential, especially when one considers what automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other data-driven innovations bring to the table.
A business conversation
This approach makes the Dimension Data Intelligent Customer Experience go-to-market different to the other four pillars of the Dimension Data stack. The other four go-to-market also take a business-first approach, but it’s within the Intelligent Customer Experience where these concepts have to congeal into a comprehensive business strategy.
In March of 2020, Dimension Data made the decision to operate as one entity bringing all its subsidiaries together under a single Dimension Data brand. The powerful combination of people, technology, and service delivery has expedited the growth and relevance for cross go-to-market strategies. By bringing together the former brands of Internet Solutions, Britehouse, and ContinuitySA, Dimension Data is delivering on its client-centric strategy. The objective is to provide clients with an end-to-end solution to help transform how organisations operate, sell, and remain relevant.
Dimension Data’s end-to-end go-to-market positioning begins with Intelligent Infrastructure (II) which is the foundation of the modern enterprise and enables greater agility and flexibility in today’s rapidly changing market. The company provides clients with improved productivity through its Intelligent Workplace solutions (IW) helping connect people, processes, platforms, and products. Dimension Data’s Intelligent Business Applications (IBA) accelerates operational efficiency and enables clients to innovate for the future while its Intelligent Customer Experience (ICX) go-to-market strives to offer meaningful digital client experiences for their client’s customers. Integral to all solutions is Dimension Data’s Intelligent Security (ISec) go-to-market which helps businesses achieve true organisational resilience.
Dimension Data’s Intelligent Customer Experience go-to-market focuses on end-customer and employee experiences alike: the challenges and victories among agents can be as telling as customer journeys. Hence why CX has to move away from being a technology problem or a silo within voice channels.
“According to the NTT 2020 Customer Benchmarking Report, 81.6% of organisations recognise the competitive edge added by customer experience, so our pivot is moving away from a tech conversation to a business outcome and ROI conversation.”
Built to make a difference
Dimension Data’s Intelligent Customer Experience go-to-market has a CX dream team with a vision of business-first interactions encompassing the different dimensions of what a modern customer experience requires.
“The correlation between the business players and technology players needs to be very close,” says Mokou, noting that Dimension Data is there to tackle this transition alongside clients. “Customers aren’t necessarily saying, ‘I’m canceling my contract.’ They will just stop interacting by virtue of having multiple choices. We need to understand and pre-empt customers. We need to move from customer retention to pre-empting the satisfaction element of customers. This can be achieved, but it requires a scope beyond the call centre and bringing everything towards the CX vision through collaboration and the effective use of data and technology. “