From bundle to platform: how customer trends are changing the digital landscape

By Ioannis Melas Partner, UK&I Technology, Media and Telecommunications, EY.

In my previous blog , I outlined the main reasons why organisations are under pressure to improve customer experience. I also summarised an approach which helps clients to address this challenge by creating a digitally integrated customer experience (DICE).

Now I want to drill down into one of the key trends that is shaping the market and which illustrates that organisations need to take action in order to meet the growing expectations of customers.

From owned to empowered

Most people’s primary experience of a bundle is through the media industry, where we buy a package of TV, connectivity and telephony services. As customers, it’s convenient to get all our needs met in one place and for providers it offers higher revenues and greater stickability. A classic win-win – until recently.

Our research recently revealed that over a third (37%) of those with a full media bundle (including mobile) were thinking of switching providers for at least part of their bundle, significantly more than those without a bundle (28%)*. Looking beyond media providers to the wider world, we found that 75%* of business users believed they were paying for services they don’t need. Examples of businesses using bundled services include everything from financial information to insurance products.

These survey findings proved an early warning of a growing trend. This is the shift away from the idea of businesses ‘owning’ customers and deciding what they want, to one where customers call the shots, selecting their own ‘pick n mix’ of products and services and curating them in the way that gives them most value. Rather than feeling tied to one provider, consumers are accessing what they want from wherever it is easiest to do so.

The rise of the free-range consumer

This rising trend is increasingly driving customers towards platforms where they can select services, believe there is fair value exchange between what they consume and what they pay (which sometimes is not money), and often access services from more than one provider. As just one example of the growing power of platforms, 65% of news consumption in developed markets now takes place not on the providers’ own channels, but on aggregator sites.

What does this shift mean for businesses?  Put simply, the winners will be those able to build platforms that customers enjoy using and dominate specific domains where the customer activity happens. That means making these platforms easy to discover, access, register on, trial, and navigate. It also means providing all the elements that customers hold most dear – from valuable, relevant services to training, coaching and support. The challenge is that meeting this shift not only requires a more sophisticated digital infrastructure but one that’s flexible, intuitive and integrated.

As David Burnand, EMEA Enterprise Marketing Director of ADOBE, which provides design and photo editing software to customers, put it at a recent EY event, “We see our platforms becoming increasingly important to our enterprise customers because they provide a means for them to respond quickly to consumers’ rapidly changing needs. You have to integrate to innovate.”

Meeting the challenge

So how do we respond to this seismic shift in customer behaviour and expectations? The bad news is that a skin-deep redesign of a company’s digital channels is extremely unlikely to address the scale, complexity and speed of change needed. The good news is that the shift to digital and the resulting inexorable rise in available data has created new opportunities to measure, analyse, and fine tune experiences. From ‘gut feel’ to highly engineered, from art to science and from siloed to integrated.

DICE has been developed from our experience of helping major TMT clients to transform their customer experience. By establishing a continuous and iterative approach that harnesses different disciplines – from user research to analytics, rapid prototyping and technology architecture – DICE can now help companies in all sectors.

It’s also important to stress that it won’t just be your customers who benefit. Because it’s agile and scalable, DICE will also help you to respond more quickly to changing markets and introduce new products. The two-way interaction and better usage data it supports can help you boost net promoter score (NPS) and increase revenue opportunities. And because it is a continuous process, DICE will not only help you establish a competitive advantage, it will make sure you maintain it.

Find out more about how we can help you with customer experience.

*References:

EY, “Navigating the Bundle Jungle, 2016

EY, “Digital Home”, 2018

EY, “Generation XYZ”2017

Related Blogs

Making customer experience a competitive advantage

How can Telcos adapt to their customers’ changing needs

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Ioannis Melas  Partner, UK&I TMT