Today’s Vietnamese customers are connected; becoming more demanding and informed moving swiftly towards unlimited information and choice. Yet, so many business leaders here in Vietnam do not appear to be leveraging digital as a means to connect to their customers as effectively as possible. That’s somewhat surprising, considering the increasingly digital country we live in.

The Vietnamese marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive and brands are going to need to transform rapidly to meet evolving customer expectations. Disruption is becoming pervasive; challenging business models, legacy products, and entire industries. Even the most highly-regulated markets and companies here will not be immune. Therefore, delivering on the customer imperative for a connected experience requires organizations be responsive, resilient, and closer to their customers than ever before. The ability to understand and meet customer expectations is recognized worldwide as a primary driver of growth.

Mr. Ross Macallister

To survive and thrive, Vietnamese organizations need to start developing a deeper understanding of the expectations of their customers - as well as the partners who engage those end customers - and think about creating differentiated experiences that go beyond multichannel interactions. These expectations need to span four key experience attributes:

Brands must be perceived as trustworthy, attractive, and differentiated from their competition.

Products and services must be relevant, transparent, and consistent.

Customer interactions with a company must be personal, seamless, frictionless, and timely.

A company’s people must be truly customer-centric: knowledgeable, reliable, and empowered.

Vietnamese businesses must make reference to the experiences of more developed markets and start to put the customer at the center and elevate the customer experience as a competitive differentiator.

That means connecting to customers with compelling value propositions, opportunities, and interactions. It also means connecting the front, middle and back offices to execute the customer growth agenda effectively and efficiently while also connecting and aligning with channel and business partners to jointly deliver on commitments to customers. Lastly, it means staying connected to market dynamics and digital signals.

KPMG refers to this level of maturity as the connected enterprise and it goes far beyond channel harmonization. According to our research, high-performing organizations are getting connected by making significant investments across eight connected enterprise capabilities.

Product, pricing and customer strategy - The ability to deliver relevant, valuable, and consistent products, services, experiences, pricing, and offers that are targeted to their intended customer segments.

Experience centricity - The ability to design and deliver a seamless and personal customer experience that continually meets evolving expectations across all physical and digital touch points to drive engagement, satisfaction and loyalty. Experience centricity applies to prospects, customers, employees and partners.

Responsive supply chains - The ability for a customer to select, receive and return products / services when, where, and how it is convenient for them and in a way that is enabled through advanced, analytics-driven demand planning, inventory management, and distribution.

Partnerships, Alliances and Vendor management - The ability to effectively leverage third-party entities to increase speed to market, reduce costs, or supplement capability gaps to deliver on the customer promise.

Advanced data & analytics - The ability to harness and use data, analytics and insights to engage and execute in a thoughtful and orchestrated manner across all touch points while also protecting customer data integrity, privacy, and security.

Technology architecture and enablement - The ability to leverage technology systems and expertise to effectively and efficiently deliver cross-channel experiences, provide employees with enabling tools, and synchronize with partners and the broader digital ecosystem.

Seamless commerce - The ability to deliver a convenient, secure transaction experience that meets customer preferences while ensuring payment technologies are integrated and provide a consistent experience across channels.

Organizational alignment and people capability - The ability for an organization to marry outside-in customer perspectives with inside-out experience management processes and capabilities, including top-down executive vision, cultural alignment, matrix and agile organizational structures, and integrated, aligned performance management.

They are doing this to a greater degree than less mature organizations. These connected enterprises are able to understand what customers need and value, and they achieve it by delivering the intended experience profitably. They also have the responsiveness and resiliency to evolve with the changing consumer and competitive landscape to consistently deliver on their customer promise.

Ultimately, when it comes to capturing value, the work we do with our global clients shows that the connected enterprise enables organizations to better manage and modify expectations and deliver the right experience - at the optimum value. That is, mature organizations are more successful at striking the right balance between what customers expect and what makes financial sense. They do it by mastering the economics of the customer experience. Simply stated, enterprises need to manage both experience expectations and experience delivery and execution, recognizing the power of the eight connected enterprise capabilities working together.

So how do you get started in becoming a connected enterprise?

Keep in mind that becoming a connected enterprise is an ongoing journey - not an end state - and the ability to consistently align the experience expectations with experience delivery will likely be the key challenge for Vietnamese businesses. This is because, typically, in our experience, most businesses in Vietnam are focused on solving their front-office issues without aligning their middle and back offices to execute and deliver on their customer promise.

Here are some key steps for developing your strategy:

Understand how you are performing today. Consider several dimensions: What are your customers telling you about the services and products you are delivering to them - are they promoters, satisfied, profitable? If not, where is the breakdown occurring? How is your organization performing on each of the eight capabilities of a connected enterprise? To what extent is the business ensuring the eight capabilities are working together to provide a seamless experience for the customer?

Define the customer experience your business wants to deliver based on a clear understanding of the voice of the customer, the marketplace, including competitive and comparative practices and experiences, and the economics of these experiences on your existing and target customers.

Identify the necessary requirements for delivering the appropriate customer experience using the eight capabilities of a connected enterprise and understand where there are gaps in your company’s ability to execute today.

Develop a roadmap for closing the connected enterprise gaps. Create a detailed business case for each initiative, with clear linkages to desired value and required capabilities.

Execute the plan and continually monitor your progress from your customers’ perspective, the economics of the experiences delivered and your competitive positioning.

Building a connected enterprise can help you navigate the challenges of digital disruption, compete effectively in the rapidly evolving Vietnamese marketplace and drive profitable growth.