Project Management and Customer Activation

Project Management and Customer Activation

Jurgen Janssens (asUgo Consulting, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4772-4.ch016
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In a digitally (em)powered age, customers expect a service and product experience in line with continuously evolving expectations. This induces great potential for organisations that shape engagement before, during, or after the main customer touch points. Powered by insights coming from the CRM-driven 360° view, they entail even more value when enabling a company to quickly and continuously learn from its experiences. This chapter will illustrate that project managers need to master a dual dynamic to attain through activated customer engagement. On the one hand, new types of projects, changing expectations, and shifting habits offer humbling challenges. On the other hand, governance, change, and delivery continue to be the foundational baseline. By integrating theoretical insights and real-life cases, the author wants to stimulate project managers. Rather than seeing the digital era as a transformational tsunami for customer engagement, they should see it as an opportunity to go beyond things in a reality where rapidly changing demand entails growth, learning, and great value.
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Literature Review

Every industrial revolution is driven by new technologies. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, new technologies get combined with technologies that finally become mature and affordable, like computing power, connected devices, genetic sequencing, artificial intelligence and the like. From a corporate perspective, facts are available in spades to illustrate the vastness of the impact of this evolution. In 2016, the CEO of technology and consultancy company Accenture stated that digital transformation is one of the main reasons half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since 2000 (Nanterme, 2016). The growing impact of the GAFAs and the NATUs1 only confirms this.

From a human perspective, the way people live, work and interact is transforming at high speed (Arbib & Seba, 2017; Schwab, 2016; Van Driessche, 2014). The transformation of physical and digital worlds entails great potential. At the same time, this leads to (pressure for) increased human productivity. Customers expect businesses to anticipate their needs and provide personalised service through any communication channel. B2B and B2C businesses need to shift therefore from a model focused solely on selling products, to a service model driven by deeper connections with customers (Janssens, 2017). This deeper connection is embodied through the concept of ‘customer journeys’. Customer journeys are the sum of experiences and touchpoints that customers go through when interacting with a company, before, during and after the main interaction (Schadler, 2018; Truog, 2018; Van den Brink, 2018). By improving customer journeys, companies can continue to remain relevant, nourish the customer engagement relationship and stimulate their growth.

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