Date posted: 05/03/2018 6 min read

Embrace digital disruption now, or face the risks

CA ANZ’s chief information officer Sanjeev Gupta urges corporates to look online to engage with customers.

In Brief

  • Tech-powered multi-channel engagement is the only way for companies to stay in the game
  • Augmented/virtual reality and blockchain technologies are set to lead digital disruption
  • Gupta is a panellist at the Sydney AFR Business Summit being held on March 6-7 2018, where he will present his views on ‘digital disruption’

By Tarini Puri.

Tech-powered engagement is the only way for companies to stay in the game, warns Sanjeev Gupta, the Chief Information Officer of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

“We are now in the world of digital natives and ‘Gen Ds [Generation Digital] who have grown up in a connected world with instant gratification and everything at their fingertips,” he says.

And because data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented/virtual reality and blockchain technologies will affect us all, “it is imperative to keep communication contextual and relevant to stand out in the deluge of information.”

Here are Gupta’s top six arguments for why companies should embrace  digital engagement, or face the consequences – oblivion.

1. Customer needs have changed

Expectations are now far exceeding delivery in the corporate world. Customers want to connect on their terms with their choice of channel and time of engagement. They want to be able to get personalised service and information that is relevant and contextual and they ‘expect’ a higher level of service.

2. Convenience is key

Services and sales increasingly are being tailored to individual customers. Therefore, the supply chain needs to be personalised and convenient. There are plenty of examples of disruption being driven by the use of digital technology to cater for unfulfilled needs. Entirely new business models and businesses are emerging that are dislodging incumbents and creating new operating models.

3. Competition is heating up

It is critical for businesses to keep up not only with changing technology, but to continually look to disrupt their own business models. If they don’t, others will.

It is imperative to keep communication contextual and relevant to stand out in the deluge of information
Sanjeev Gupta Chief Information Officer (Information and communication technology), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

4. It’s all about data

Improved customer experience, relevance, conversions and loyalty all start with getting to know the customer through the intelligent use of data. This includes segmentation using the usual customer metrics, plus using behaviours and attitudes through a learning experience.

5. Ongoing conversations 

To get a customer to convert, then stay loyal, it is critical to keep the relevant messages flowing through multiple digital delivery channels. There are many more ways to communicate now, from podcasts to videos to telephonic or app-based messaging. The idea is to keep up the conversation and not lose the thread.

6. Stay ahead of the customer 

Artificial intelligence can help keep track of customer needs. It can ensure you don’t show clients products and services they already have. Rather, the conversation should be about things they need. Predictive analytics of data can drive recommendations for customers, which helps generate leads and drive conversions.

Chartered Accountants ANZ is using data to understand members better and communicate with them more effectively by providing contextual and relevant content.

“We are also using the data to enable members to connect with other members who are facing similar business challenges within the same industry or across industry groups,” he says. “We are enabling this through our ‘Community Connection Hub’, which is due to go live in the second half of 2018.

“We are one of the first member-based organisations globally to drive member engagement by building such a community platform. This will be a one-stop shop for the members to engage with Chartered Accountants ANZ, with other members, get access to all relevant content, and to check their continuous development points. We are also building a recommendations engine that will make suggestions on the relevant educational courses, webinars etc for the members, which will be unique to them based on their career stage, interests, history, preferences etc.”

Related: WCOA 2018 

World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) is coming to Sydney, 5-8 November 2018. 

Tarini Puri is the production coordinator of Acuity.

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