Companies have an awful lot to contend with today. Whether it’s adapting to hybrid working, dealing with talent shortages, or fighting rising rates, there’s always a new path to navigate, and a fresh opportunity to seize. But despite the endless evolutions facing businesses today, nothing quite compares to the mercurial metamorphosis that digital transformation is already bringing to our doors.
This is perhaps most apparent in the world of customer experience – so if you’re in the business of CX, getting to grips with digital transformation is non-negotiable (sorry).
In this blog, we’ll lift the lid on the ins and outs of digital transformation, explain how a focus on digital transformation can seriously enhance the customer experience, and ply you with tips for ensuring a great digital CX. Not to mention that digital channels and tools offer the best way to understand the entire human experience of your customer.
Let’s get going!
What is the digital transformation?
A rapidly growing number of companies are embracing digital transformation. In fact, 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy already in place, or they’re working on one. But what does that mean?
Simply put, digital transformation refers to a business approach that involves integrating technology into every operating area of an organization. From digital channels to devices, adopting digital transformation can lead to changes in how a business operates, how it interacts with consumers, and how it delivers value to its customers.
Interestingly, it’s the customers – and not the companies – that are driving this seismic change. With the current pace of digital evolution in our tech-heavy world, people are becoming accustomed to getting what they want, when they want it; and the expectation is no less prevalent when it comes to content and communication from their favourite brands.
Digital transformation is a way for companies to not only meet these needs, but to anticipate them. Because of that, it’s the customer journey that ultimately shapes your digital transformation strategy – or at least, it should.
Digital transformation’s impact on customer experience
Why does digital transformation matter to customer experience? Does it really have that much of an impact? Actually, it has a great deal of impact! So much so that when combined with a focus on customer experience, digital transformation can generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction, along with economic gains of 20-50%.
It’s also worth noting that digitally mature companies are 23% more profitable than their less mature peers, digital-first companies are 64% more likely to achieve their business goals than their peers, and 56% of CEOs report increased revenue as a result of digital improvements. And customer experience has an enormous role to play in these successes.
A whopping two-thirds of a company’s competitive edge comes from its customer experience, so if you want your business to prosper with higher revenues and fully realized goals, you can’t overlook the importance of using digital transformation to give your customers the experience they demand – especially as 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
Fortunately, embracing everything that digital has to offer makes understanding those needs – and making the changes needed to meet them – far easier.
The customer of today is ever-connected, and they need you to meet them where they’re at with the technology to make that connection effortless and hassle-free. Because digital transformation is essentially about changing how you interact with your customers, and making the experience as consistent as possible.
If your customers struggle to work your website, find endless faults in your app, or feel they’re waiting too long for a response to an email, they’re unlikely to come back for more. A focus on the digital experience can rectify those reputation-damaging missteps, and turn consumers into loyal customers – and with loyal customers five times more likely to buy from you again, and four times more likely to send family and friends your way, it’s a worthy investment.
How your business can utilize the digital transformation to improve customer experience
For businesses, the top benefits of digital transformation include improved operational efficiency (40%), faster time to market (36%), and – importantly for you – the ability to meet customer expectations (35%). So how can you use digital transformation to improve your CX?
- Leave cold calling in the past: People are most prevalent on social media these days, so show up where your target customers are and embrace social selling. Forging a relationship with consumers through social media platforms can be done by helping people with a problem, or sharing content they’ll love. These online interactions help to strengthen your brand identity, and make your customers feel seen, heard, and understood.
- Get personal with your messaging: Gone are the days where billboards and TV ads were the height of marketing prowess; nowadays, people want your messaging to feel far more personal. Targeting your customers with highly personalised communications strengthens their experience and helps them to connect with your brand – and a digital-first marketing strategy is the only way to make that approach possible.
- Be proactive with conflict resolution: It’s no secret that unhappy customers will quickly air their grievances for all the world to hear; you can’t do anything to stop that, but what you can do is embrace the power of digital to keep an ear to the ground. By incorporating social listening into your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to resolve any grievances as soon as they arise – even if a customer hasn’t called in with their complaint.
- Adopt a multi-channel approach: Customers are rarely confined to a single channel. From shopping in-store and browsing mobile apps, to logging issues on your website and reaching out through social media, the customer journey isn’t only happening in one place – which means your CX strategy has to encompass every channel, and provide the most seamless digital experience possible.
But however heavily you lean on digital in your modern approach to CX, it’s crucial that you don’t overlook the value of the human experience.
Integrating the human experience with the digital age
There’s no denying that digital has replaced human interactions by an almost frightening degree. Customers expect digital to lead the way when dealing with your brand, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy to leave the human experience in the past. In fact, 63% of customers are perfectly happy to be dealt with by a brand bot, just as long as they have the option to talk to a human if they need to.
Digital might be the future, but humans are still, well, human – and people can’t build connections if the human touch isn’t present. The reason this is so important is that when customers establish an emotional connection with a brand, their lifetime value increases: people invest in your brand on a personal level, which means they’re going to buy from you again in the future.
It’s far harder to achieve a great digital CX than it is to perfect traditional CX, but when businesses combine technology with a human approach, it is possible to give customers the connection – and experience – they naturally crave. One way to achieve this is by personalizing the customer experience. You might be reaching out through email, social media, or online ads, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get to the heart of a person.
Using the tech at your disposal to get an accurate picture of what your customers want and need – and which channels they respond to – gives you the chance to make people feel valued, which is essential for building that all-important emotional connection your customers are looking for.
Top tips for delivering a great digital customer experience
Right then, what else do you need to know when it comes to giving your customers the best digital experience possible?
- Get your website in order: Did you know that customers who have a bad experience with a website are 88% less likely to return to it in future? You can’t afford to lose customers by giving them a subpar DCX on your brand site, so sort your loading times, make your website easy-to-use, and don’t leave people waiting for support.
- Plan your strategy carefully: Before starting on your digital transformation journey, you need to think about where you are now, where you want to get to, and how you’re going to get there. You’ll need to carefully plan the digital infrastructure and tech support that’ll bring your project to fruition, and always keep your customer in mind. You should be aiming to create a cohesive, multi-channel experience that your customers will remember – for all the right reasons.
- Get the whole company on board: Customer experience isn’t only the preserve of your customer service team, and digital CX isn’t only the domain of your tech team. It takes a collective, collaborative effort to bring off a successful digital transformation project, and to harness that transformation to bring about demonstrable enhancements to the customer experience.
There’s lots to think about when it comes to improving customer experience through digital transformation, but you don’t have to do it alone.
How can Forsta help?
A pretty convincing 93% of companies consider innovative technologies as being necessary to reaching their digital transformation goals – so why not get some of the industry’s best software on-side to bring your customer experience dreams to life?
Forsta’s customer experience survey software can be used to incorporate digital transformation into your customer experience practices. With the tools to put customer experience at the very heart of your company’s culture, we’ll take you on an effortless journey – from data to insight, right through to decisive action.
In support of your digital transformation efforts, our software can automate your most time-consuming tasks – and with advanced analytics that easily dig out the root cause of any issues that may be bringing your brand down, Forsta’s industry-leading CX tools bring your data to life, and let you make the changes your customers care about.
Ready to see how Forsta can help to marry your digital transformation and customer experience goals for seamless execution? Arrange your free demo today.
Get your business future-ready
Almost half (44%) of companies have already started to take a digital-first approach to customer engagement, so if you don’t want to get left behind, it’s time to grab digital by the horns and make your mark!
People have high expectations from the companies they buy from these days, and you don’t want to disappoint. So, consider your customer journey, determine your digital direction, and face the future with the confidence that only a well-executed strategy can bring.
And if you need some support? Give us a shout.