Posted by Jack Biersdorfer
Companies today are confronted with a hostile and complex business environment that includes fierce competition in the global market from legacy brands to an endless line of emerging companies, a demanding consumer who is less concerned about brand loyalty and more interested in value and quality, and technology platforms that are changing at the speed of light.
Couple this environment with hundreds of stores closing in North America as leading market brands scurry to keep pace with the likes of Amazon.com and emerging giants like Alibaba.com and others. As evidence of this disruption, according to Business Insider, store closings this year include Radio Shack with 1,784 closures as well as J.C. Penney and Macy’s with 40 store closures each.
These days there is a tendency for bricks-and-mortar retailers to think that e-commerce retailers have it all figured out; however, online retailers have challenges too. Like bricks-and-mortar retailers, they also struggle with the challenge of how to encourage customers to spend more, increase average order value (AOV), and return to the store faster. Brick-and-mortar retailers can take a page from e-tailers’ investment in digital strategies and solutions that deliver personalization and hyper-localization. This will drive explosive growth in global commerce. The challenge facing all retailers is to create deeper, more personalized localized experiences that also resonate with consumers from varying countries and regions. For example, Amazon supports its two-year old India operations with significant investment in marketing initiatives that resonate strongly with the base, such as a blitz to support the season of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
No industry is immune to these challenges, which affect healthcare, retail, technology, automotive, travel, and communications equally, as companies compete to own the customer. While brand identity still matters, the ultimate differentiator today is service and optimized customer experience. At HGS, we partner with some of the largest global 500 companies. With successful growth, comes challenges as they focus on their customer experience. They simply can’t grow 5X or more and expect to solve their customer challenges by adding people. Our objective is to address these challenges head on using digital solutions that perform the heavy lifting and reduce the reliance on traditional employee resources.
As you weigh this challenging era in business, know that HGS has been in a continuous state of transformation over the last 3 years. Our Digital Natural Assist (DNA), for example, is a platform, designed with a mobile-enabled customer in mind. DNA leverages company knowledge and bridges channels of interaction with an emphasis on empowering self-service while seamlessly integrating agent assistance. We continue to invest in our DNA platform and the assets required to design, build, and host competitive solutions that play a vital role in the continued success and growth of our clients. As a company we remain flexible knowing that there is no cookie cutter solution as our clients want to use new market technologies to better service their customer, but also differentiate their brands.