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with the provision of compelling online customer experience. “Research findings show that organisations can promote flow experience by attending to site design issues including site responsiveness, its visual appeal and quality of a site’s content. Flow experience, in turn, exerts a significant positive influence on customer behavioural response to online sites”. Human-to-human interaction Prof Mpinganjira explained that with the introduction of Web 2.0, human-to-human interaction on digital platforms has become an important part of customer experience. “The ability of organisations to capitalise on the potential benefits of social platforms, such as online communities, depends on the quality of customer experience that they are able to facilitate”, she said. To this end findings from research point to the importance of growing social capital by promoting quality content sharing. Fostering of citizenship behaviours and trust is also critical to facilitating positive customer experience. The risk of personal privacy One of the major risks associated with the use of digital technologies for value creation is that they often come with a high cost

According to Prof Mercy Mpinganjira, the Director of the School of Consumer Intelligence and Information at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), digital technologies have brought with them new models of creating customer value. “The ability of an organisation to leverage off these value- creating opportunities requires the development of a digital marketing strategy that is informed by a good under- standing of customers”, she said. “This means understanding the customer’s expectations and experiences”. The experience environment Marketing strategies need to aim at promoting the creation of positive takeaway impressions for the customer. One of the ways to achieve this is to pay attention to experience environment design. “In designing the experience environment, organisations need to be cognizant of the fact that the digital environment serves as an important source of stimuli that evokes changes in customers’ internal state”, explained Prof Mpinganjira. “This, in turn, affects their behavioural responses towards digital products and services”. She highlighted that flow is one significant internal state linked

to personal privacy. “Findings from my research show that the practices that organisations engage in, and how they go about managing privacy issues, can have a significant influence on ethical reputation”, she explained. “This, in turn, can influence customer- brand relationship quality and customer response to marketing efforts”. The need for value creation activities to take advantage of developments in the technological environment cannot be over- emphasised. To be successful, such efforts need to be informed by the need to never treat technology as an end but as a means of creating positive customer experiences.



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