In the formative days of the Internet, when it wasn’t quite ruling the roost, deciphering customer behaviors used to be something beyond the scope of the particular organization. Now as the invasion of the digital transformation is taking the shape of a leviathan, there are potent tools to assist organizations to determine and regulate customer activities on their websites. Digital transformation is the need of the hour. Not only does it help businesses to offer enhanced customer experiences but it also enables them to generate more revenue.
In the fast-changing dynamics of businesses that have quickly warmed up and embraced the technological advancements of the IoT ecosystem, machine learning, or artificial intelligence, incorporating digital transformation into your customer experience strategy has become integral for the businesses to thrive.
Even though digital transformation generally takes place in the three primary aspects of business, which include the customer experience, the business model and the operational process, the focus must always remain on the enhancement of the consumer experience.
This leads businesses to the biggest challenge which involves how one can utilize all these three elements of a business to offer a fulfilling and all-round holistic experience to their consumers.
So, it has been awhile since digital transformation has been the subject of many business discussions. And the crux of all these discussions has emphasized on an increased need for digital innovation that can bring an organization to maintain an agile environment, and new technologies have the ability to do so.
During the advent of the digital transformation, many sceptics were of the opinion that a world controlled by automation and remote technology would make the businesses grow more and more distant from the consumers. However, the reality turned out to be the exact opposite, as digital transformation successfully bridges the gap between consumers and businesses.
A general overview of digital transformation for empowering customers
The digital transformation of an organization is basically a process by which the organization becomes more digitally advanced and mature and establishes a prominent presence on the Internet to cater to a huge base of net-savvy consumers. This whole process is carried out by a multistage system. In this process, the organization creates a functional website, promotes itself on social media and then starts gathering relevant details from a myriad of sources.
This process of digital transformation is crucial since it enables the organization to recognize and acknowledge the preferences of its consumers and also monitor shortcomings or drawbacks in its existing operations.
All in all, digital transformation has been instrumental in enabling businesses to connect with their customers and in providing a consistent and memorable experience to the customers whenever and wherever they look for it.
In fact, if we go by the stats, an article published on Forbes recorded that between the Top 100 organizations in the world and all other businesses, the Top 100 organizations are 58% more likely to put emphasis on customer empowerment as a key parameter. 92% of leaders have employed advanced digital transformation strategies to enhance their customers’ experience.
Another study conducted by the experts at MIT found that the organizations that have completely moulded their business models to suit the ongoing digital transformation trend, acquired 26% more profit than their competitors. Studies have also pointed out that engaged customers buy 90% more frequently, and spend 60% more.
So all these details point to one simple fact, and that is that consumers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to digital transformation implementations.
Engaging the new-age digitally-informed consumers
In order to ensure an enriching customer engagement, you need to first know every significant thing about your customers.
One of the definitive perks of living in a digital era is that you can now access more data connected to your customers. Thus, the process of digital transformation will certainly present valuable insights into your consumers’ preferences and behavior.
Irrespective of whether you use a spreadsheet or a much advanced CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, it is vital for your organization to invest a substantial amount of time on evaluating and recognizing your target audience.
Even if your organization has already employed advanced techniques and systems for keeping track of customers and leads, it’s still important to check these processes once in a while with the aim to upgrade them.
The most crucial thing for businesses to know in this case is that digital transformation is not fixed, and things are constantly altering and updating. The same applies to your customers’ behavior.
Now the next inevitable question that will crop up is how the businesses should use digital technology to connect with their consumers?
Mobile devices and applications, machine learning, and automation are basically making things easier to access for the customers.
Additionally, these path-breaking digital technologies have managed to alter the customer expectations considerably, thereby giving rise to a new-age, smart and modern buyer. This new breed of consumers is known to make smart choices, and also extremely informed about how to use the technology to their advantage.
Digital customer experiences
Since the use of modern technology offers endless opportunities, customers often rate businesses primarily in terms of digital customer experience. So it’s necessary that the digital experience of your business focuses on interactions with your customers.
For the marketing department of an organization, the digital-first approach means lowering the expenditure on offline marketing activities, like direct mail, TV ads and billboards. You need to work with the belief that customers expect a certain kind of focused messages, which one can obtain through a proper data-driven marketing technique. So, you must utilize digital channels like your website, your social media channels, email and search engines to track consumer engagement
For the sales segment, the digital transformation would take place in the form social selling instead of cold calling. You need to proceed by assuming that you consumers are already active on social media and that’s where you should focus on. Make efforts to establish a communication with your consumers, adopt an empathetic approach and seek to inform them.
For the customer support division, you no longer have to wait for the phone to ring or the mail to come through. The role of customer relations will be more proactive. This way you can assist your consumers more efficiently, as you reach out through several different channels. Various reviews sites, social media, online communities and forums are all under the customer relation eco-system now.
To entertain and satisfy this modern-day smart buyer, your organization needs to be a part of the digital transformation phenomenon.
The successful implementation of the digital transformation
This phenomenon known as the digital transformation inspires businesses to have a consumer-first approach and thereby ensures that organizations meet the expectations of their consumers. Presented below are the aspects that aid in the efficient implementation of a digital transformation strategy:
Availability and a multi-channel experience: We live in an era of instant gratification. Almost every consumer today expects a customer service professional to revert within at least an hour, irrespective of whether it’s a weekday or weekend. This has led the businesses to remain accessible and on-demand 24×7. Companies that can provide ease of accessibility and personalization to their customers will emerge as the winner in the long run.Moreover, today ’s customers don’t just rely on a single channel. They browse, shop online, share feedback through mobile devices and seek answers from your support team on social media networks. So bringing all these communication channels under one umbrella would make the interactions better.
A flexible IT environment: Having the advanced technology to integrate digital strategies is essential in today’s world. Luckily, organizations understand the need for integrating flexible systems and 86% of businesses consider that cloud-based technology is the driving force behind digital transformations.Cloud technologies enable organizations to operate faster, and in a more flexible way, thus offering the scope to assess new projects that are low-risk and inexpensive.
Liaising with different departments and setting the expectation: The marketing, sales and other departments within your organization work together to align ON departmental objectives and to put together a more advanced business model. The flexible culture of the organization has to be implemented keeping in mind the organization’s capacity for change, and more significantly the ability of the company to put its consumers first.
Evaluating data on consumer experience and finding opportunities: The departments within your organization have to come up with insights based on the collected data and the digital transformation strategy. The objective should be to determine pain points, and issues that customers generally deal with and the opportunities in enriching the customer experience in their journey. The ideal approach is to present a report of each day’s progress and set goals for the next day.
Targeted customer experiences: Today’s consumers demand organizations to treat them as unique individuals, understand and empathize with their personal choices and purchase history.According to a study, 75% of buyers agree to buy from an organization that:
Identifies them by their name
Understands their choices
Suggests products depending on their past purchases
Customers are comfortable with allowing organizations to use their data to enhance their experience. But, to leverage this opportunity, you need to engage and invest in a solid CRM system.
In conclusion, it won’t be wrong to say that in today’s rapidly changing, always connected world, organizations are compelled to seriously consider implementing a digital transformation strategy.
Digital transformation provides organizations with an opportunity to engage modern consumers, and fulfil their expectations for a seamless customer experience irrespective of a place or channel.