We spoke with EY’s  Ioannis Melas about how customer expectations are evolving in line with digital technology.

How are customers’ expectations evolving in line with digital technology?

There’s a few things that we consider when we think about customer experience. The first one is this concept of great consumer great and the fact that people will compare experiences across providers within different contexts and apply that level of expectation in any context.

The second thing is personalisation and how it gets informed by data privacy. So, there is certainly an expectation that experiences will be targeted and tailored but how that gets delivered and how you share and surface data with the customer also needs to happen in a way that constitutes a fair exchange of value and comes across as non-intrusive, non-creepy.

The last thing is this concept of platforms and this means a lot of things to a lot of people, but ultimately if we defined platform as a customer domain where specific activity happens within that domain then we see the emergence of those across a number of spaces and it creates a different imperative for customer experiences. For example, 65% of news consumption happens in aggregation sites rather than the original content providers.

From your perspective, what challenges are entrepreneurs in the space facing when it comes to integrating a good customer experience?

We spend a lot of time speaking to our clients about their strategic agenda. Three years ago was the first time that customer experience was the most quoted, top strategic agenda item for C-level clients.

And this year, business model, innovation and customer experience went head-to-head as top of the strategic agenda.

So, the challenges that clients are facing are how do they drive growth, how do they use customer experience as a differentiator but ultimately, how does that remain connected with the business model and the value that they are looking to drive in the market and obviously for their customers as well.

On that note, how can TMT companies create a Digital Integrated Customer Experience (DICE)?

I think there’s a few things that we believe need to come together.

The first one is purpose, being really crisp about what the purpose of a specific TMT provider is. It needs to energise both customers and employees.

The second thing is being business outcome focused and making sure that you are actually solving a specific problem and that it has value that is demonstrable within a defined timeframe.

The third one is agility. Potentially, an overused term but certainly something that all of our clients think about when they consider how they make their organisations operate at a faster pace and work across silos and in situations where organisations are very large. What does it take to incubate that way of working within that environment?

The fourth is digital as a enabler rather than the end goal. Again, I think the term is overused. We believe that digital informs everything. It’s not a product, it’s not a channel in itself, it is a means by which you create interfaces, experiences, touch points that talk to each other and work across different journeys, across different touch points, but also the source of data and intelligence that allows you to surface treatments and produce experiences in a way that is non-intrusive and value-added for the customer.