7 Areas to Build Competitive Advantage in 2024

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A new year brings new opportunities to build competitive advantage for your business. Here are 7 areas to explore.

  1. Customer intelligence

How often do you commit effort to better understand your customer needs? Do your account managers and support reps have a way to share what they learn from customers?

Customer needs evolve constantly as new challenges arise in their personal and professional lives. These changes could be unpredictable. They might not need a new service but just a change in how that service is delivered. They might not seek a feature-rich product but a basic functional, quality product that truly serves them.

To fully understand your customers, you need to reach out and listen. This helps to tailor your offerings and build a loyal customer base.

  1. Monetization of information

The data archived in databases and clouds is a treasure vault. Apart from turning data into customer intelligence or operations insight, you could create new products making use of the information you have access to.

The processes and systems your business uses to deliver a service could turn into a repeatable framework valuable to other businesses. Turning that into a platform as a service (PaaS) leads to recurring revenue.

Many businesses use an outsourced model to ramp up market launch and scale, information monetization could be a viable extension of your business.

  1. Data asset

ChatGPT has spurred phenomenal interest in artificial intelligence (AI). Many businesses are actively exploring how to leverage AI technology to enhance customer experience and operations. However, there are risks associated with output generated based on fictitious, unreliable data.

Having quality data is a competitive advantage. It requires investing effort in treating data as a strategic asset. By incorporating appropriate processes to manage data input, updates, and use, you build trustworthy data. With confidence in data, people feel at ease with using data for informed decision-making.

When you treat data as an asset, you have a great lever to uncover opportunities for strategy refinement.

  1. Meaningful analytics

Increased adoption of analytics has propelled many businesses to make better use of the data they have gathered in various applications.  Business intelligence (BI) tools also make it easier to visualize data, enabling effective communication of results and business implications.

When your teams are adept at using meaningful analytics to diagnose issues, evaluate options, and optimize results, they gain clarity on the most effective approach to achieve business outcomes.

Overall, you also foster better collaboration across the organization.

  1. Process automation

The popularity of cloud based technologies has opened a market full of affordable technologies for businesses to choose from. These technologies help to streamline processes, eliminate onerous tasks, and improve productivity.

Productivity gain translates into cost reduction and bottom-line improvement. Employees are thrilled to get rid of tedious work that sucks up time and energy. A caveat here is technology selection is not meant to be a siloed exercise. You need to have a holistic and cohesive plan to select technologies that suit business needs. What works for your competition might not be a good fit for your business.

Involve people, especially the frontline employees, to develop your process automation strategy.

  1. Reskilling people

With an uncertain economic landscape, it is natural to cut back on employee development. However, employee development is more important than ever to retain talent.

As you deploy new technologies, you need to equip employees with proper knowledge and skills. Instead of feeling threatened by automation, employees become proud operators of technologies.

Similarly, analytics is a valuable skill. Identify individuals who have an aptitude for it and invest in them.

Reskilling people is an ongoing investment that can’t be overlooked.

  1. High performance culture

Alignment on goals and their execution plans brings the whole organization together. Everyone understands the targets and their roles in achieving them.

This requires your leaders clearly communicate the business goals and the supporting initiatives in plain language. No jargon. No warm and fuzzy words that are hard to grasp. In addition, you need to have a feedback loop for employees to share their experiences and concerns. Senior leaders and middle managers need to act in synch so they address concerns promptly and openly.

A high performance culture is built on trust, clear and open communication. It steers your business toward accelerated, collaborative success.

As you build momentum to execute your 2024 strategy, layer on these 7 areas to optimize your outcomes.

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