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MAKING PEOPLE H-APP-Y

GUEST COLUMN

By Sean Kopelke, Vice President, Solutions Engineering, Asia Pacific & Japan at Riverbed Technology

Digital transformation is underway throughout Australia, offering new and profound ways to improve customer and employee experience, while boosting revenue and productivity.

But what we see time and again is organisations with all the gear and not enough understanding of how their users are experiencing it. What many businesses overlook in this rush towards transformation is the importance of putting customer experience at the centre of the process.

In the age of the app, a customer’s digital experience has become integral to brand value and getting this right is the key to extracting the most out of your digital investments.

The modern customer now carries strong expectations of your app performance. Digital experience may be the front-end digital services and processes that your customers directly interact with but it’s also a crucial part of the total service offering.

As the speed of service grows tenfold, so too does an unwillingness to wait more than three seconds for a web page to load. We are living in an environment where a single second of delay can bring a significant number of lost conversions.

Convenience is the name of the game, and the channel or method is unimportant. Internally and externally, users are quicker than ever to critique your business based on app performance, whether it’s those on your customers’ phones, or your employees’ desks.

Recent Salesforce digital customer research revealed 69 per cent don’t just want but actively expect Amazon-esque buying experiences. The same research noted 59 per cent felt companies need cutting-edge digital experiences to keep their business.  

At the same time, the reality is that every company is vulnerable to poor app performance. We’ve seen the likes of Amazon suffer significant outages that left its AWS services offline for hours. Instagram’s very public crash left users unable to upload content to the platform and the subsequent hashtag #instagramdown was retweeted millions of times as a result.

Attune Hearing is an example of one company who has recognised that improving customer experience can provide its business with a competitive edge. It offers a wide-range of audiological services from hearing tests to hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation. They run 44 clinics across Australia and operate primarily on referrals from healthcare providers.

Amidst growing competition and in a sector undergoing major disruption, customer experience became the primary battleground. Attune needed to innovate and deliver richer experiences for its customers, which meant adopting new services and applications while maintaining efficiency with the new traffic being created.

With clinics spanning vast distances nationwide, bringing these new services, apps and sites online required a significant amount of time, travel and cost for the brand. Additionally, the rapid introduction of new service applications and locations was placing a strain on existing legacy infrastructure and making it function at a subpar level.  

This is where SD-WAN and cloud networking solutions made the save, drastically simplifying networking while reducing the time it takes to spin up new apps, services and locations. With this platform in place, Attune was able to accelerate the slew of new traffic crossing their hybrid environment and strengthen its digital performance.

Now all that is required is a basic internet connection and Attune’s new site can be up and running on the network.  

As a bonus, the visibility Attune receives from the new applications has given them a better understanding of their own performance and the ability to diagnose and resolve issues faster, improving service levels for staff and customers with relative ease.

This is the power of having deeper visibility into how users are interacting with the apps in your system, something big data plays a fundamental role in unearthing. In the face of constant features and updates, it’s inevitable that over time an applications performance will erode. Big data lets us know the rate this is occurring and how we can get our systems back on track.

The growth of customer expectations is matched by the growth in innovation and technology, and it is ultimately a very exciting prospect. It puts the onus back on businesses to continue delivering better digital experiences. When a company takes stock of their applications and its performance, everyone benefits.

Sean Kopelke is Vice President, Solutions Engineering, Asia Pacific and Japan at Riverbed. Based in Sydney, Australia, Kopelke is responsible for leading the region’s sales engineering team and helping to build and execute a long-term growth strategy for the company, which includes deepening and expanding its own technology expertise in close collaboration with partners and customers.

 





Categories: Digitisation, telco

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