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Towards a Smart Customer 360


The discrete industries sector is taking the right step toward cognitive computing and robotic process automation by using the “smart factory” model to achieve operational excellence. According to the report Smart Factories: : How can manufacturers realize the potential of digital industrial revolution by Capgemini , an average of 20%, 19%, and 17% benefits have been achieved within the respective industrial manufacturing, automotive, and aerospace & defense industries by simply adopting a smart factory initiative.

But what about the customer in the age of smart factories?

How can smart factories address customer needs and bring all the relevant “smart” information together so that it leaves the buyer satisfied and able to make the right decisions wherever the visit or transaction takes place?

Driving the customer to the right channel is an important first step. The customer must then be allowed to visualize their installed base and check their account details as well as the details of any running service contracts or agreements.

The latest connected services provide a seamless overview of connected running assets in context (not just a simple graph collected from a cloud service) and leave the customer delighted to see relevant information in a way that instantly shows whether everything is running smoothly or not.

The next smart function would be to deliver a unique experience and bring the parts and services needed for the installed base assets or for cross- or upselling—not only for parts or service, but also for information—by this I mean the content (for example a video or knowledge article) that would bring to context a technical information, explain how basic maintenance operations routine could be achieved or provide marketing personalized campaign registration and information.

To drive insight from its connected machines, the customer will avert device failure and avoid long call hold times before being connected to an agent—the chatbot should have already noted that something is wrong and suggested solutions for an optimal outcome.

This is how a Smart Customer 360˚ view within discrete industries should be defined in the digital world. This is how I, as a buyer, can gain satisfaction, aspire to the best customer service, and have a total view of my orders and service job activities on a single online platform.

It is also time to think ahead with the potential impact of Conversational Commerce on discrete industries operations. The Conversational Commerce by Capgemini report states that: “MIT Auto ID Lab predictions show an annual growth rate of 653%, more than double the growth rate of the smartphone.”

AI and chatbot technology deliver hyper contextual information to the customer, driving a better understanding and better predictions of a customer-installed base running with connected machines.

In 2017, Capgemini’s Seamless Commerce approach addressed the challenges of B2B operating in a rapidly changing environment and taking a more digital-empowered and complex omnichannel journey. We learned that creating a unique experience is key to success for a buyer to get to a completion point. The question remains how can we leverage this experience and bring it to discrete industries.

One size does not fit all

There is no simple answer or solution to achieve this. Enablers of discrete industries must support the customer throughout the cycle, not only when they have an issue. I call this “Contextual Customer Service” where, during the online experience, a customer’s assets and data are enriched by AI and delivered through a chatbot as an example to provide relevant information and drive resolution faster.

Delivering key touch points using real-time information gathered either from running assets or from the building phase of the order is one of the success factors to deliver a smart customer service and take the customer experience journey to the next level.

What must be achieved to deliver optimal customer service and reach a smart representation of Customer 360?

  • Connecting the enterprise to the people who require the correct information between all demand and fulfillment channels as they want to buy or access data on any device at any time, with real-time visibility of inventory levels, pricing, shipping data, and installed base information
  • Delivering relevant content and key knowledge through media and visual technologies (video, 2D/3D/VR representation of assets)
  • Viewing installed base and running assets as customers expect an intuitive, responsive, and easy-to-navigate digital experience
  • Supporting the build ordering process and driving cross- and upsells from a dedicated storefront to sell parts, service, and machines in a timely manner as time is money and decisions are made based on the information provided
  • Delivering contextual activities from a planned service contract or best next actions on asset failure as customers are tired of inaccurate information, especially when it’s tied to an emergency order or trying to get a piece of equipment back online.

Taking a step ahead and supported by SAP and Capgemini

Fast Digital 4 Discrete Industries (FD4DI) by SAP and Capgemini helps manufacturers create smart, connected products, assets, and operations that offer the potential for time-to-market reduction, productivity gains, cost savings, and new revenue streams.

This joint initiative helps our clients in the discrete manufacturing industries manage their digital transformation as they seek to adopt innovative concepts driven by Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT), Cloud, Big Data, Smart Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Digital Twins.

Bringing Customer 360 to life

To bring this to life and move toward a Smart Customer 360˚ to match B2C expectations, overcome channel conflicts, transcend the transaction, and provide a single source of truth for the ecosystem, Capgemini and SAP have created a framework for you to leverage. This framework includes the building blocks for our seamless, connected, and live enterprise approach which works harmoniously across customer engagement, extended supply chain, procurement, finance, and human resources departments, together with insights collected in real time from operations and externally, through machines and IoT, to serve and delight customers.

SAP Customer Experience LIVE Summit in Barcelona, October 10-11 2018

I will be attending the SAP Customer Experience LIVE Summit in Barcelona from October 10 -11. If you are attending, ensure you stop by our booth P1 and discuss a true Customer 360 scenario and also witness the demos bringing customer experience to life.