The Driving Force That’s Changing South Africa’s Customer Experience

Danny Drew, Managing Director for Avaya South Africa, explains how the company has taken a leaf out of Elon Musk’s book to help transform customer experience For South Africans, Elon Musk will always be a popular figure, admired for his success, even if he did achieve it overseas. With the Tesla car not set to be available in the country until later this year, many of his compatriots have not yet had the chance to drive one. Which means they don’t know yet what an incredible experience they’re missing out on; anybody who gets behind the steering wheel of a Tesla is keen to tell you just how amazing driving it actually is.

The Tesla stands out from the crowd in the automotive industry by going fundamentally beyond just adding some attractive features to a luxury car. Those lucky enough to own a Tesla know that it’s fundamentally different from owning a regular model car and a straight feature-to-feature comparison is not viable. The Tesla delivers an entirely different value proposition to a conventional gas-guzzling vehicle and that shows in its performance, the economics of running it, and, inevitably, in the experience of driving it.

Companies are going to need that sort of radical shift in mindset to help them meet customer preferences that are changing faster than ever: traditional product development cycles of years and years aren’t going to cut it in future. The development conversation is moving on from features

and functions, companies now are trying to address use cases and user needs. That’s as true of the South Africa market as it is anywhere else – where once people were willing to accept a slower pace of change than other markets, todays more digitally-savvy customers want services delivered
at their speed.

At Avaya, we believe we are the Tesla of our industry: we offer a fundamentally different approach to customer and team engagement than our competitors. We realised some time ago that we needed to shift from being a communications company to a software company, providing the flexibility that our customers require. For us as a technology vendor to be able to deliver solutions that deliver value to our customers, we had to transform towards a Tesla model; initially, we might score the same from the outside, but only when you open the hood, would you realize that, in fact, we are fundamentally different from our legacy competitors.

Most importantly, our model is use case-driven: each use case is defined by our customers, with solutions built on open platforms, and unlimited scope for customization and methods of deployment. So the value we bring to our customers is defined by them, and not Avaya. Every company we work with can quickly design, test and deploy solutions in their environments, giving them the flexibility and agility needed in today’s ever-changing digital marketplace.

With the sheer diversity of consumers, it is critical for us and our clients to be able to tailor every customer experience, based on what the end user wants. We know that no two customers’ use cases are going to be the same, so we don’t offer one-size-fits all solutions. The key to success is to be able to deliver a very different value proposition to our customers, in the same way that Tesla does for its customers. Take us for a test drive and see for yourself – unlike Tesla, we’re already here in the market.