IDC predicts that by 2025, 75% of the world’s population will interact with data every day, and each connected person will have at least one data interaction every 18 seconds. This digital transformation - the integration of technology, or intelligent data, into everything we do - is bringing about enormous change in the way businesses operate and interact with their customers.
It is now crucial for organisations to invest in digital technologies and products to keep up with the demands of the “always-connected” consumer. Digital solutions that allow them to respond more quickly and deliver a better customer experience are more important than ever in order to remain competitive.
The new digital customer experience
It’s no secret that we live in an increasingly digitised world. As consumers amass an ever-expanding suite of digital devices to organise their personal and professional lives, they expect to be able to access any product or service whenever they want it, wherever they are, and from whichever device they choose. Furthermore, they demand an immediate response to any query around the clock, any day of the week.
Customer experience is a key driver of a business’ decision to implement a digital transformation strategy. And the more companies digitise their business to facilitate better customer experiences, the more consumers raise their expectations.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, natural language recognition and virtual and augmented reality have already shown great potential to improve customer experience and engagement. More and more organisations are choosing to interact with their customers via voice interfaces and chatbots, and as the technology improves, these applications will be able to conduct seamless customer service interactions at any time - day or night.
Forrester Research envisages a future in which virtual and augmented reality will become the new normal, and any business not utilising it will struggle to remain competitive. Customer service agents will be able to project their presence into consumers’ worlds and a consumer will be able to simply hold a mobile device over an account statement to see FAQs and account information on their screen. McKinsey sees a world in which digital channels become the primary - and perhaps only - customer-engagement model and automated processes become the primary driver of productivity.
What impact does customer experience have on digital transformation?
In a study by PWC, organisations were asked about the factors that have influenced their decision to implement a digital transformation strategy. Almost half of all these organisations stated that customer experience and satisfaction were leading influences.
Businesses that have embraced digital transformation have created highly engaged consumers who are:
- Six times more likely to try a new product from their preferred brand
- Four times more likely to have referred a brand to their close friends, peers and family
- Two times more likely to make a purchase with a brand, even if a competitor has a better product or price.
Companies that embraced digital transformation are 26% more profitable than those who don’t.
How can organisations get started with a digital transformation strategy?
- Define your digital transformation strategy
Rapidly changing innovations in technology continue to change the way we do business every day. These changes are disrupting even the most established companies, so maintaining a long-term digital transformation strategy is key to compete, survive and adapt in this new digital world.
It’s as simple as asking yourself these three questions to help define digital transformation strategy:
- Today, where is the business at with digital transformation?
- Tomorrow, where do you want the business to be with digital transformation?
- What are you going to do to get the business from today’s plan to tomorrow’s?
- Today, where is the business at with digital transformation?
- Map the customer journey
40% of businesses believe that customer experience is a top priority for digital transformation and 72% are excited about the shift to digital transformation to create new opportunities to build better customer relationships.
As discussed above, customers are starting to take control over how businesses deliver digital customer experiences. Technology is allowing them to have a say in how they want to be interacted with and what type of content they want to see, so it’s now time for businesses to build new customer experiences that meet these demands. Mapping the customer journey can help.
Once you have mapped the customer journey, you can then overlay any digital possibilities that can improve this. This overlay allows businesses to focus on which technologies they should embrace and where they would be best suited within the customer journey. Businesses can use this technique to better visualise their investments, business models and technology applications to better effectively engage with customers.
- Foster an agile tech environment
45% of business leaders believe their organisations lack the necessary technology to implement an effective digital transformation strategy. Creating a digital transformation strategy and mapping the customer journey implementation is all well and good, but it requires the right technology to power up these strategies.
86% of businesses that do recognise the need for agile systems implementation understand that cloud technology is critical to digital transformation.
Cloud technology allows businesses to be dynamic, flexible and fast, enabling them to use technology to meet customer demands quicker.
An example could be using cloud-based customer databases, big data and web analytics to digitally record customer touchpoints to better understand your customer experience. Cloud based tools, such as SaaS applications, can allow your business to learn how, why and when your customers do business.
Digital transformation and outsourcing
The outsourcing industry is leading the way in the adoption of digital solutions, particularly the use of AI, machine learning and automation.
Organisations looking to prioritise digital transformation have embraced outsourcing. Check out the following results that some of Beepo’s clients have benefited from having an offshore team in the Philippines:
- Customer satisfaction scored 100% in the first quarter
- A 72% increase in customer acquisition and design turnarounds
- A 104% increase in lead generation over a 12 month period
- A 375% increase in new business over three years.
With the customer of today demanding the availability of immediate, 24/7 online support, the use of applications such as natural language recognition and chatbots in contact centres is becoming a must for businesses to remain competitive.