Digital transformation: The promise of incredible customer experience

Wanna have pizza?

Tweet an emoji to Domino’s Pizza and voila, the genie will make your wish come true. Or, you could log on to Facebook Messenger and ask Dom—Domino’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot—to do the needful. Given Dom’s growing popularity, he now also has a voice and is available across select stores in the US, making the company’s dream of becoming “100 per cent digital” one step closer to reality.

Digital-native businesses such as Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Uber, and Airbnb have been instrumental in transforming customer behavior by delivering immediate and personalized experiences. So much so that businesses across verticals are realizing that the only way to stay relevant in today’s competitive world is to create dynamic digital ecosystems centred on customer needs and expectations.

An IDC study predicts that about 40% of all technology expenditure would go towards digital transformation projects, with enterprises spending more than a whopping $2 tn next year for the same. With improved customer experience at the heart of most successful digital transformation projects, nearly 70% of business leaders report significant value from digital transformation in customer satisfaction and engagement.

The big deal about customer happiness

Enterprises no more believe that customer experience is solely linked to the actual sale. Growing digital transformation efforts have proved that there’s a lot more to keeping customers happy. A McKinsey Study shows that 70% of app users prefer added functionality over “look and feel” of the app; 61% customers are more likely to buy from companies that deliver custom content; and an impressive 75% of online customers confirm that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

The desire for instant gratification drives organizations to remain accessible across digital platforms 24x7x365. Customer experience is what differentiates the top players from the reluctant digital adopters.

How to get it right

US-based telecom carrier Sprint is a fine example of how digital transformation can improve the customer experience. Every time a customer abandons a transaction online, the enterprise’s new open-source software churns through relevant data to offer real-time insight into what went wrong and how best to remedy the situation. Further, the company is now able to use the sea of data generated by logs, databases and emails to understand their customers better and offer personalized product recommendations.

No matter what the industry, digital transformation is essentially about harnessing the power of technology to connect better with customers, enhance revenues and hone one’s competitive advantage. Here are seven ways to ace the customer experience test:

  • Embrace a holistic view of the customer. To help optimize customer experience, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has to stop being a silo of the customer record and start offering a unified, 360-degree view of the customer.
  • Personalize every customer experience. Enterprises need to use the data in their CRM solution – like previous correspondence, purchase history, etc. – to gain valuable insights into customers’ minds and offer them exactly what they want.
  • Assure seamless experience across channels. There’s a need to tie together all the customer channels – social media platforms, company website, front office, etc. – in the organization to provide a single, user-friendly customer experience.

Read: Digital Transformation in Action: A Report

  • Invest in mapping the customer journey. In today’s digital economy, it is critical to swiftly identify low-performing touchpoints – say the website or app – and implement effective solutions.
  • Act on customer feedback. While most enterprises capture feedback – implicitly and explicitly – not many know what to do with it. Digital enterprises must learn to aptly respond and adapt their businesses to meet customer expectations.
  • Adopt an enterprise-wide, evolving approach. Just like digital transformation, customer experience has to be a holistic, evolving process that involves not just the front-end and customer-facing functions, but the entire organization. The business has to be attuned to every possible customer demand.
  • Address the employee experience. Quality customer experience begins with focusing on the employee experience. Enterprises that ‘listen’ to their employees are more likely to meet and even exceed customer expectations.

On a final note

When you open up the Starbucks app, what you see depends on who you are. The coffee chain has been able to use the power of data, technology and connectivity to create hyper-personalized customer experiences. Thanks to a machine learning (ML) algorithm that looks at millions of data points to create unique customer propositions, the company excels at customer retention and revenue growth.

Studies show that satisfied customers are more loyal to the company and willing to spend more. Today, with technologies like Big Data, AI and ML, enterprises are in a position to leverage customer data to provide never-before, customized experiences.

Ultimately, enhancing customer experience is an integral part of digital transformation. As much as it is about new technology, successful digital transformations are also about how business operations change and deliver value to their customers. Happy customers make successful companies. Are you ready for the happiness challenge?

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Author : Jisha Krishnan Date : 28 May 2018