Organizations across industries are increasingly looking for ways to improve the customer experience. While digital transformation can potentially impact every aspect of organizations, it often makes its most significant mark on the customer experience. 40% of respondents in a Harvard Business Review survey named customer experience as their crucial motivator for pursuing digital transformation. And for good reasons.
- 89% of companies that lead with customer experience perform better financially than their competitors (Qualtrics).
- A one-point customer satisfaction improvement on a 10-point scale corresponds to at least a 3% increase in revenue (McKinsey & Company).
- 71% of consumers have made a purchase decision based on experience quality (Salesforce).
Many organizations are pursuing digital transformation to respond to market realities and keep up with their customers’ habits and expectations. Even today’s top-performing brands have transformed over recent years to meet evolving customer expectations. For example, Amazon has set the standard for a personalized customer experience, in part due to its innovative use of AI, machine learning, and customer data. Or McDonald’s, which recently further streamlined the fast-food experience using automated kiosks that are quickly becoming industry norms.
Understanding Today’s Customer
Simply having a top-of-the-line product or fantastic service is no longer enough. The modern customer expects the best possible end-to-end customer experience and is no longer willing to settle for poor or even “just okay” experiences. According to the latest Salesforce State of Marketing report, 85% of consumers believe a brand’s ability to deliver great experiences is just as important as the products or services it provides.
But what makes a great customer experience?
The modern customer expects fast-paced, personalized service in virtually everything they do. They also demand to be served from wherever they are, no matter the time of day. Self-service options are also increasing in vitality, as 81% of consumers prefer to do online research before contacting a company or finalizing a purchase. While market trends like this are valuable, we dare you to dig deeper: What makes your customer unique? How do these preference trends apply to your customer base and service offerings?
Customer Experience Evolution - How Technology Drives Customer Service
How to Improve the Customer Experience
4 Ways Digital Transformation Improves the Customer Experience
No two digital transformations will look the same. However, many share common outcomes that target popular customer desires and expectations. Here are four common elements of digital transformation strategies that have a direct impact on the customer experience:
1. Convenience: Online Information Access
Customers want to easily access the information they seek. Many would even prefer to be given the tools to get this information themselves. As a result, digital transformation initiatives involve new communication channels, self-service portals, 24/7 chatbots, mobile apps, and more. These features enable customers to seek the information they want, any time, any place. This is an effective way to serve your customers with the flexibility and convenience they desire.
And as a bonus, offering self-service options like these can save you money. According to Gartner, live channels such as phone, live chat, and email cost an average of $8.01 per contact, while self-service channels cost about $0.10 per contact.
2. Speed: Process Automation
Automation is a powerful tool that can transform unpleasant experiences and significantly improve how customers engage with your brand. Whether your digital transformation strategy uses workflow automation within a content services platform or robotic process automation (RPA), automation can accelerate your front-end and back-end processes. Streamlining your processes increases speed while reducing human errors that are notoriously time-consuming to resolve. As a result, your customers receive the answers they need rapidly, rather than waiting on hold for hours. Automation also grants your employees more time and resources to provide high-quality customer experiences.
3. Customization: Personalized Customer Experience
Personalization resonates best with customers. It not only improves the customer experience, but it increases customer loyalty and drives sales. As massive amounts of data become readily available to organizations, companies are finding new ways to personalize the customer experience. With tech giants like Amazon leading the way with advanced product recommendations using buyer data, customers are growing increasingly accustomed to these highly personalized experiences.
Using controlled APIs, customer segmentation, AI, user metrics, and other tools, you can deliver personalized services and products that are tailored to your customer’s unique, authentic needs, and desires.
4. Innovation: Constant Improvement
To keep your customers satisfied long-term, you need to constantly up your game. Continuing to do what’s worked in the past isn’t enough. Your customers expect you to pursue constant improvement to show you are dedicated to them and will continue to provide value over time. And in today’s extremely competitive, evolving business landscape, you can’t afford to stop innovating.
Digital Transformation Isn’t a One-and-Done Initiative
Digital transformation is a long-term commitment to finding ways to improve and innovate so that you grow and evolve along with your customers. It’s important that you continually reexamine your operations in search of new ways to improve the customer experience.
- Your processes are fast, but how could they be even faster?
- You offer personalized services, but how could you customize them even further?
- What do your customers want that you aren’t doing today?
The possibilities are endless.
Constantly working towards improvement demonstrates to the customer that you care about them, their experience, and you want the very best for them. You earn major bonus points in the form of loyalty if you turn customer feedback into visible results.
Digital Transformation: The Ultimate Guide
Get everything you need to know about digital transformation in one place, including expert tips and 5 steps you can take to start your journey now.
Your Customers Need More, Now
It’s never been more urgent for organizations to focus on customer experience in their business strategy. Exceptional customer experience is a key differentiator and not only creates a competitive advantage and increases sales, but it drives customer loyalty and satisfaction.
But don’t rush into digital transformation. Carefully define your goals and analyze your current reality before investing in any specific solutions. And we can help. If you’re ready to explore what digital transformation might look like for your organization, contact us to start the conversation.
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