Which companies join PayPal, Yamaha and Amazon as customer relationship leaders?
PayPal, Yamaha and Amazon are the best consumer-facing brands in Europe when it comes to building relationships with customers.
According to new research commissioned by technology giant Ricoh, 70 percent of European consumers say the best brands are those who treat them as individuals,
The findings from a survey of 3,600 consumers in 23 countries highlights the demand for personalised services, and for businesses to ensure they have the digital solutions to meet and exceed evolving customer requirements.
Ricoh Europe has devised a ‘Triple R’ rating where consumers rank how brands build quality relationships with them before (Reach), during (Respond) and after (Retain) purchase.
Out of consumer-facing brands operating across Europe, those deemed excellent in each of the three areas are:
- Yamaha Motor
- Samsung Electronics
- Alphabet (Google)
- Walt Disney
- BMW Group
- Marks & Spencer
The research also reveals that 57 percent would spend more with brands that make them feel valued, further emphasising the need for businesses to communicate in a more bespoke way.
David Mills, CEO, Ricoh Europe, said: “Consumers see Triple R brands as being at the top of their game when it comes to providing a fast and tailored service. This makes the need for optimised internal processes and the right technology essential to giving customers what they want. The research we commissioned shows fifty seven percent of consumers would also spend more with brands that make them feel like valued customers. This heightens the fact that driving business growth must be intimately linked to making interactions easy and ensuring consumers feel appreciated.”
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”