Table of contentTable of content2I List of figures31Introduction42Literature Review52.
1Customer Experience Management52.2E-Commerce62.3Artifical Intelligence72.
4Augmented Reality72.5Internet of Things82.6Summary of Literature Review93Case Study103.1Implementation of Digital Technologies103.1.1Implementation of e-commerce103.1.2Implementation of Artifical Intelligence 1771123.
1.3Implementation of Augmented Reality123.1.4Usage of Internet of Things123.2Internal Impacts123.3External Impacts123.
4Digital Leadership123.5Trends and Challenges of Digital Technologies133.6Summary of Case Study134Recommendation145List of References15I List of figuresFigure 1: 5 Steps Customer Experience Management (Schmitt, 2016)6Figure 2: Digital Reality Market Opportunity (Samit, 2017)8Figure 3: Gartner forecast Internet of Things (Canadian Underwriter, 2015)9Figure 4: Own figure of Plantronics e-commerce based on (Plantronics, 2018)10Figure 5: Screenshot of Plantronics e-commerce (Social Media)11Figure 6: SWOT Analysis of e-commerce11Figure 7: SWOT Analysis of AI12Figure 8: Leadership Capabilities for the Digital Age (Oracle, 2017)151 IntroductionAt the moment almost every industry devote themselves to the digitization. Thereby companies try to use the possibilities of digital technologies to reach competitive advantages.
For instance some companies try to automatise processes, while others focus on improving their customer experience through argumented reality(Prescott, 2014). Consequently there is to say that the digitization is not a so called buzzword but a megatrend(Gulati & Soni, 2015). Oswald and Kleinemeier believe that companies can only exist long-term if they take the digitization seriously and are successful in adapting to shift of the markets (Oswald & Kleinemeier, 2017).
Thus, companies are willing to spend large amounts of their budgets to adjust their businesses to the digitization (Bley, et al., 2016). In doing so, it is not enough to invest in modern technologies. Managers and leaders have to prepare their staff according to changes which accompany with the digitization. Furthermore, it must be clearly analysed which benefits the investments in digitation will offer (Steve, 2015).This coursework focuses on a case study of Plantronics and will analyse up to what extent the digitization can help to strengthen the market position of Plantronics.
Thereby, the chances and risks of digital technologies will be investigated and the internal and external impacts of those technologies will be figured out.The overall aim of this coursework is to give a recommendation to management in how far Plantronics can improve their customer experience management through the usage of direct e-commerce, artificial intelligence, augmented reality or the internet of things. In doing so, it is essential to outline the most suitable digital technologies for Plantronics and to show up what needs to be considered when implementing those technologies.2 Literature ReviewFirst of all some theroatical background will be mediated before the case study will be analysed in chapter three. Due to the limitation of words the literature review will focus mainly on customer expierence management and how it can be used in the area of e-commerce, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the internet of things.
2.1 Customer Experience ManagementMany companies still rely exclusively on product developments. Others try to reach a competitive advantage through price differentiation (Glattes, 2016). However, the fact that service and the associated experience of a customer with a company have a far greater impact on the purchasing decision is only anchored in a few companies(Baschera, 2013). And this iswhat customer experience management (CEM) is about. The CEM covers all impressions and touchpoints of customers with a certain company for the duration of a customer relationship(Grønholdt, et al., 2015).
The aim of CEM is to increase the brand loyality of customers and to optimize processes from the customer’s perspective. In doing so, a company has to make their decisions on the basis of customer needs(Baetzgen, 2015). For offering a successful CEM it is essential to be able to provide desired information whenever they are needed (Grønholdt, et al., 2015).
That means that a customer get the information / service he wants whenever he wants. Hereby, social media offers good ways to interact with customers not only in a monologue but to create a dialogue (Zolkiewski, et al., 2017).To sum up there is to mention that CEM deals with all emotions and interactions that a customer has with a certain company (van de Sand, 2017). Today, most products are interchangeable.
CEM offers the possibility to distinguish products positively from competitors and even product with a lower quality can compete when the company has a good CEM (Baetzgen, 2015). For developing a succesfull CEM it is vital to identify all the different customer needs first of all (Steiner, et al., 2017). The following figure, developed by Bernd Schmitt, outlines the five steps of CEM.Figure 1: 5 Steps Customer Experience Management(Schmitt, 2016)Here, the key to success is to redefine all different steps regulary as the competition develops new innovations regulary and customer needs are also changing continuously.2.2 E-CommerceE-commerce submits the sale and purchase of goods through the internet (Graf & Schneider, 2016). Consequently, the barriers to entry aregetting lower and it is much easier for companies to offer their products to a broader target audience (Niranjanamurthy, et al.
, 2013). At the same time companies have to compete with more competitors. As many companies of a certain industry offer products which are hard to differentiate for customers, it is vital for them to establish other distinguishing features which confer a major edge (Graf & Schneider, 2016).
Moreover, e-commerce contains alldigital services that companies provide for their customers(Heinemann, 2017). Thus, this is one possibility to get anunique selling proposition. Hereby, it can be seen that CEM plays an essential role in the area of e-commerce to be successful. Currently, many companies improve their e-commerce strategies through CEM as they try to personalize the customer approach (Deshdeep, 2017). However, that requires that companies commands Big Data. This means companies need to collect as many personal data as possible from their customers. In doing so, it is necessary to consider privacy policies (Berger, 2016).
A study of PWC with 24.000 shoppers from 29 countries shows that the impact of e-commerce is significant and especially the mobile shopping increases steadily (Maxwell, et al., 2017). Furthermore, analysts from PWC and MC Kinsey believe that mobile shopping will become even more important within the next years (Maxwell, et al.
, 2017) (Hazan, 2015). Thus, companies need to consider the shift from computers to mobile devices in their e-commerce strategy.Summarizing, it can be said that e-commerce can only be successful if the strategy includes a distincitive CEM(Heinemann, 2017).
For this reason it is vital to update all existing processes continuously because customer needs are changing fast. Furthermore, the e-commerce of a company needs to be flexible, caters to customer needs, includes a coherent information transmittion and purchase option (Heinemann, 2017). In addition, the e-commerce platforms for computers and mobile devices must have a good usability and an appealing look.
2.3 Artifical IntelligenceAnother way to improve the customer experience can be reached through artifical intelligence (AI). AI enables machines and computers to act situation-dependent and to solve problems where normally human intellect is needed(Ross, et al., 2017).
With help of a deep learning technique it is possible to equip machines and computers with knowledge. Thus, it is possible that for instance the customer service is undertaken by machines. In that case, customer questions or complaints could be worked at any time (Ross, et al.
, 2017). According to an article published by the Forbes Magazin, the economy is at a point where machines learn from humans. But it is likely that one day humans learn from machines. In doing so, machines might find ways to address the target group more efficientlyand to optimize processes much faster (Olenski, 2017). AI offers the opportunity to increase the speed of interaction between a company and a customer. Furthermore, machines do not have emotions. That implies that machines only act based on facts while humans tend to trust their gut feeling (Sterne, 2017).2.
4 Augmented RealityWith augmented reality (AR) it is possible to enhance the personal perception by virtual elements (Riley, 2017). Companies can develop applications or devices which allow to combine the reality with virtual apsects. TherebyAR can support the buyer decision process as well as the information procurement (Embert, 2015).
In doing so it is widely used for point of sale activites or on websites / applications (Embert, 2015). AR can help to improve the customer approach. The combination of virtual apsectsand real life allow customers to get in touch with a product / service on a sensorial and cognitive basis (Barfield, 2016). Consequently, customers are able to “feel” and test the products before purchasing them. On the one hand this increases the customer experience as AR offers additional, intense and lasting touchpoints for customers (Ahmed & Sutton, 2017). On the other hand it reduces the amount of complaints after purchase.
Nevertheless, AR is expensively and companies need to analyse if AR is able to create an added value in contempt of high costs(Barfield, 2016). Thereby, it is not enough to offer customers a gadget (Ahmed & Sutton, 2017). Companies need to get a competitive advantage by the use of AR.Figure 2: Digital Reality Market Opportunity (Samit, 2017)The above shown figure from Deloitte illustrates the growing importance and potential of AR by 2020.2.
5 Internet of ThingsThe last part of the literature review deals with the internet of things (IoT). This term describes among others the connection of smart devices such as tablets and smartphones (Oriwoh & Conrad, 2015). Smart devices are characterized through an integrated communication interface (Oriwoh & Conrad, 2015). The IoT ensures the communication of smart devices without the involvement of humans.
At that point the communication takes place via internet and cloud services (Schipper, 2015). The IoTcan help companies to optimize their processes, reduce costs, increase the efficiency, and to boost the collaboration (Raj & Raman, 2017). Moreover, the Iot can also have a positive impact on the customer experience.
As smart devices collect data and exchange them among each other, they can learn many things about the user and the user behavior (Osseiran, et al., 2017). In doing so the IoT can help to optimize the smart devices and to tailor them on the respective user (Osseiran, et al., 2017). According to a forecast of Gartner it is likely that the IoTbecomes much more important by 2020.
Figure 3: Gartner forecast Internet of Things (Canadian Underwriter, 2015)2.6 Summary of Literature ReviewTo sum up there is to mention that the customer experience becomes increasingly important as it helps to gain a competitive advantage. It isindispensable for companies to ignore the customer experience management.
Thereby, the digitization offers several opportunities which can improve the customer experience. At the same time it is likely that the digitization will have a major impact on existing business models.3 Case StudyThis chapter will concentrate on the case study of Plantronics.
The company was established in 1961 andproduces headsets, telephone headset systems and related services (Plantronics, 2018). At the moment the company does not sell directly to their customers (A1). But as the competitive pressure increase significantly, it is vital that Plantronics reorganize their business model (A1). This chapter will figure out different opportunities of Plantronics to improve their market position through customer experience and to establish the brand also in the B2C market.
Thereby, it is important to mention that the case study does not include a budget limit. Consequently, it will be mentioned if an implementation is expensive, but a detailed expense budgeting will not be given.3.1 Implementation of Digital TechnologiesPlantronics has different opportunities to improve their customer experience.
One of them is through the implementation of e-commerce.3.1.1 Implementation of e-commerceThat would mean that the company change its business model and sells directly to its customers. In doing so the development of an online shop is obligatory. This shop must be added to the existing websites. Furthermore, a call to action button should be added to the social media channels.
When a customer pushes this button he will be directly forwarded to the online shop of Plantronics. The following figure shows how an e-commerce can converted into reality.Figure 4: Own figure of Plantronics e-commerce based on (Plantronics, 2018))Especially on social media channels it is possible for Plantronics to improve their customer expierence as the customer can read trustbuilding ratings, can interact with the company and other users and to see videos and pictures of the products and testimonials which engages customer’s attention. Nevertheless, the implementation of an e-commerce would also unfold weaknesses of Plantronics. This can be seen in the following figure.Figure 6: SWOT Analysis of e-commerce3.1.2 Implementation of Artifical IntelligenceAnother possibility of Plantronics to improve the customer experience and to entry the B2C market is trough AI.
If Plantronics succeed in implementing AI they could gain additional customer insights (Hyken, 2016). In this way they can use the insights to address their marketing activities more effectivley. Furthermore, the customer request can be treated at any time through the use of chatbots (Walker, 2017). At he same time AI has the disadvantage that it is expensive, takes long to implement and the dimension of AI can not be determined(Yudkowsky, 2008). Further advantages and disavantagesof AI for Plantronics can be abstracted the below shown SWOT analysis.Figure 7: SWOT Analysis of AI3.
1.3 Implementation of Augmented RealityIn case of AR, Plantronics can use a current trend to improve their market position. This trend is called coworking spaces. Start ups tend to use these spaces to find cheaper ways for getting workplaces in demanded areas (Corbett, 2016).Figure 8: Global Number of Coworking Spaces (Small-Business-Labs, 2016)One disadvantage of these coworking spaces is the not influencable noise level and the constraindedconcentration of people. A cooperation with Noisli can fight this problem (Noisli, 2018). A study of them showthat people are more focused when they here the sound of rain (Noisli, 2018). Furthermore it is proved that people should make a break at least every 90 minutes a day and zone out from their activity (Vozza, 2017).
This counts for working days as well as spare times. For this reason this solution can be used for the B2C and the B2B market. With a further cooperation with Google (product Google Daydream View) people can use the short breaks to break out to their favorite places (Google, 2018). The subsequent SWOT sums up the most considerable aspects.Figure 9: SWOT Analysis of ARThereby it can bee seen that AR also include some weaknesses. Plantronics has no expertise in the area of AR and thus depends on other companies. Furthermore it is likely that much money needs to be invested in research and development before a competitive product can be released.
3.1.4 Usage of Internet of ThingsThe last option which will be analysed is to optimize the customer experience and market position in the B2B market through IoT. In this area Plantronics has different options to improve their business.
By cooperating with Microsoft and a carmanufacturer like BMW it would be possible for Plantronics to ease the working life of many customers. The headset could be linked with Microsoft Outlook, which is the e-mail provider of Microsoft. In doing so people can listen to their mails when they drive to the office and directly respond to them via voice function. When the customer reaches his office the headset directly connect with the laptop and opens the current working process. That would lead to a sustained process and less waiting times. At the same time the IoT can also improve the customer experience of Plantronics in customer’s spare time. By cooperating with Paypal and Amazon it would be possible that a customer makes a voice note and by saying the word “purchase” the mentioned goods are going to be ordered directly via Amazon.
Consequently customers can order their groceries while driving a car, or while they are doing sports. As a result it can be seen that the IoT offers the possibility to improve the customer experience ofPlantronics. At the same time the IoT offers weaknesses, opportunities and threats which will be shown in the following SWOT analysis.Figure 10: SWOT Analysis of IoT3.
2 Internal Impacts 2324The implementation of these digital technologies lead to internal impacts. First of all it is necessary that Plantronics is willing to invest a large amount of money in these technologies. In case of e-commerce or AR it is vital to reorganize respectively extend the existing business model. Furthermore, new jobs will be created as the company will need employees for among others data analytics. At the same time there might be the fear that the technologies lead to the loss of other jobs. According to a study from Deloitte, the war for talent is absolutely present in the area of digital workplaces (Abbatiello, et al., 2017).
Consequently, Plantronics needs to figure out a new recruiting strategy which ensures that they attract enough talents. Moreover, leaders need to communicate the changes over a long period of time as it might be possible that he acceptance of new technology or new strategies might not be accepted by the currenty employees. In addition Plantronics might lose power when they cooperate with other companies.
3.3 External ImpactsAt once, these digital technologies also lead to external impacts. Plantronics might be recognized in business areas where they have not been noticed from customers before.
First of all Plantronics must establish and position their brand in the B2B market. Afterwards it is essential that they push their marketing and sales activities towards a B2B market. Furthermore, Plantronics has to consider more regulations according to compliance and data protection as these technology enable new possibilities of data collection and data processing.
3.4 Digital LeadershipThe digitization does not only has an impact on business models but also on leadership. For this reason it is essential that Plantronics trains their leaders and impart them the most important digital leadership skills through regular trainings and workshops (Creusen, et al., 2017).The key to success is continuously trainings as today’s world can be described as “vuca”. Vuca stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (Sarkar, 2017). Bob Johansen has redinfed the term vuca and adapted it to digital leadership skills. In his point of view digital leaders have to have visions, must have clear understandings of digital technologies, create clarity in acting and work agile to react fast to shift of the markets (Johansen, 2012).
Furthermore, digital leaders must be flexible, open to change and have a strategical analytics skills (Velten, et al., 2015). In addition it is obligatory that a digital leader acts cross functional and pushes the digital transformation across the company (Velten, et al., 2015). Despite these skills a good leader should possess many more skills as described in the following figure.
Figure 11: Leadership Capabilities for the Digital Age (Oracle, 2017)Thus, the digital transformation of Plantronics will also have a wide influence on the future requirements for (digital) leaders.3.5 Trends and Challenges of Digital Technologies 27523.6 Summary of Case Study4 Recommendation5 List of ReferencesAbbatiello, A., Knight, M.
, Philpot, S. & Roy, I., 2017. Leadership disrupted: Pushing the boundaries, New York: Deloitte.
Ahmed, A. & Sutton, M. J., 2017. Gamification, serious games, simulations, and immersive learning environments in knowledge management initiatives. World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 14(2/3), pp.
78-83.Baetzgen, A., 2015. Brand Experience. 1st ed. Stuttgart: Schäfer Poeschel.
Barfield, W., 2016. Fundamentals of Wearable Computers and Augmented Reality. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press.