Unicorns will focus on customer relationships

Unicorns will focus on customer relationships

One of the main problems arising in the world together with automation and digitalization of services is that people get more lonely. The math is simple here. You think you can make the self-checkout in the supermarket more efficient for people, but you lose the clients that don’t know how to manage the technology yet. This happens with every new technological wave. Some people fall behind and others learn to adapt faster. But the consequences of this type of further optimization of the service to reduce the cost of personnel make everything radically different. All of a sudden, even those that can handle the technological disruption will feel lonelier and not heard because now there’s literally no human reading their complaints about the products they want to review. It’s only algorithms that calculate scores and rank user insights at “scale”. The problem with treating in bulk is that many of the companies and industries that heavily relied on human interaction and the human components will start losing clients. That’s why looking at the effects of that in a holistic way will help companies to innovate on how they approach human experience and human interactions. Otherwise, many will not cross the chasm of the early adopters’ customer base.

Unicorns of the future will focus on using Co-creation as their strategy to do business model innovation in the customer relationship box.

First of all, the Co-creation method allows you to cut a lot of costs with expensive tech developed without customer insight on demand.

It allows you to be more flexible in how you grow your company. We see that Booking.com has a personal assistance element that helped them scale their service. But personal assistance is very different from co-creation. It confines you to some basics rules you follow to assist your customer for a smoother experience. Client satisfaction metrics are also very tangible and hands-on. This part is the one that goes into the future of customer relationships with AI allowing you to automate to increase capacity and improve efficiency. But that’s not the goal of co-creation.

The second big advantage I was mentioning about co-creation is that you are not building assets ( automation bots, RPA’s, heavy tech infrastructure on the platform) to increase your customer satisfaction metrics.

However, you do need to invest in your company culture. And as we saw from Hotmart, the company has pretty much all these great ingredients at the core of their company culture to provide scalable customer support standardized in terms of quality across the organization. They invest in people not just internally but through this customer relationship approach as well. Being aligned with their values provides great stability regardless of how much they pivot.

However, how can you standardize more of this uncertainty of co-creation value you deliver to customers?

That’s where the more benefits of having this approach come into place:

With co-creation, you built a reputation around your product as not being just technology but a human-powered service!

What does human-powered mean?

Well, that’s pretty simple. It comes from people and it serves people. Content creators know that Hotmart is a place to go to start their business online delivering top-notch courses for all sorts of people. This is a strategy that is slowly being picked up by Youtube as well and by Amazon with their book reviews strategy for authors. The help they get around building new products is the added value of the customer support they provide. Co-creation comes from allowing content creators to learn from your platform how to work with the platform not just to improve their service and make things easy for Hotmart, but also for the content creators themselves who improve their skills of delivering.

Udemy, a very well rated platform offering online courses is also doing a good job in providing a good service for content creators. However, their business model is more focused on the performance of the platform, reliability, UX and most importantly, the reputation of trainers which makes it a high entry barrier for newcomers in content creation. For this reason, Hotmart differentiates themselves from their main competitor by providing a lower entry barrier and growth opportunities from new content creators which will, later on, be more engaged with the platform and more loyal instead of migrating to other services with similar core tech features. And honestly, the market for newcomers is much bigger than the existing top-notch content creators, so in time, Hotmart will surpass Udemy not by number of students ( Hotmart has since its founding in 2011 over 4 million students whereas the US launched Udemy in 2010 has 30 million students) but in revenue because their growth metrics are focused now on both ends of the 2 sided platform.

In the end, this makes Hotmart an invaluable resource for digital innovation that goes beyond the „lock-in” model of Apple ecosystems but it does increase the loyalty of using the service intrinsically. You can find here some negative views on the way you „sell yourself to the devil” by signing up your content on the platform and becoming the „product”, but I argue that the view is limited by a lack of knowledge on how proactive the legal department of Hotmart is working to improve through their co-creation approach the constraints of publishing on the platform and ownership policies. This is why it makes a valid point to think the future of business model innovation is customer-centric!

Companies that value their relationships with customers and learn from them improve their CX maturity level and thrive to create value for their users and/or customers.

Looking at the reasons why many investors buy a certain company or another there are a few reasons to do that:

  • Either you want to buy a product that you don’t have but that will complement your product line for the already existing customers you have nurtured in your B2B or B2C funnels. With this acquisition you would try to save on product innovation.
  • Or you want to buy the audience that the company has which might benefit your existing product to expand to a new market otherwise not susceptible for your marketing. With this acquisition you would try to save on product marketing costs and new markets expansion.

Either way, companies that develop a deep emotional connection with their users will gain from the long-lasting impact of the CX maturity paying off. Companies with strong relationships with their customers established through the vision and strategy as being measured with metrics will thrive at connecting and aligning the touchpoints beyond the digital platforms they use.

*This article was initially published under a different version and format here https://medium.com/business-of-today/future-of-business-model-innovations-is-customer-centric-87b87b2c2d39