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How is digital transformation driven by customer experience?

Increased efficiency, lower operational costs, and better customer insights – these are just a few of the advantages organisations will benefit from when embracing technology.

Digital transformation is all about embedding technology to drive fundamental change; it’s about replacing outdated processes and legacy technology with innovation, which will deliver value to your staff, shareholders and customers.

But what exactly is driving the need for digital change?

Is it a desire to remain competitive? Is it a way of eliminating waste within a business? Does digital transformation cater to an emerging, younger workforce? Have changes in the way we work contributed to an acceleration of adoption?

The answer to all of these questions is yes. In fact, it’s very rare that digital transformation would focus exclusively on one of these factors, as it requires a monumental shift in company culture to be successful.

However, the single biggest driver is and will always be customer experience. Digital transformation can make your business more agile and it can reduce overhead costs, but if it fails to meet the ever-changing expectations of your customers, these changes will count for nothing.

Getting to grips with digitally conscious customers

Digital technology has permanently altered customer expectations.

The modern consumer would rather use an app than visit a store in-person. They have less time but they are more conscientious. They value convenience and prefer experiences over products.

It’s this shift in customer expectations that makes the need for digital transformation alarmingly clear. If companies want to engage with their customer base, they need to completely rethink how they interact with them – and technology is the way to do this.

The digital customer experience you’re able to curate will be the first thing that your business is judged on, not the products you sell or how competitive your prices are.

Today’s consumers expect a digital-first approach, and this is all about being proactive rather than reactive.

So – what does this mean in real terms?

It means understanding that your customers aren’t restricted to using a single channel when interacting with your brand. They might use social media for customer service queries, a website to find out more information, and an app to browse the products that you sell.

By creating a seamless multi-channel approach, you can begin to view your customers in a whole new light. You can begin to segment, target and optimise your communications with customers based on specific channel preferences, which will prove far more effective.

Data is king

Customers are the lifeblood of any successful business. Without them, a business ceases to exist.

Therefore, it pays to know what makes them tick. What are their pain points that might drive them to a competitor? How do they want to engage with your brand? What factors influence their purchasing habits?

Identifying the answers to these questions can give you a detailed understanding of what motivates your customers and how you can target them more effectively.

But how exactly can you generate insights about your customers?

Embracing digital technology to support your initiatives and objectives is only the first step; the answer to this question is data.

By collecting vast amounts of data across multiple channels, interactions and touchpoints, your business can begin to compile a complete picture of each customer. It tells you which areas you are doing well in and which areas might need some improvement.

It allows your business to respond quickly and implement changes, which is essential in a fast-paced digital world.

Once you have collected a sufficient amount of data about who your customers are and how they feel about their experience with your brand, you can begin to create customer profiles and map customer journeys. Segmenting your audience means you can analyse customers on an individual level and take the necessary steps to engage them in their preferred way, turning them into loyal customers.

Taking personalisation to new heights

When interacting with businesses these days, consumers demand personalisation and they won’t settle for anything less. You may think that sending out some form of communication is better than none, but it can actually work to your detriment if it isn’t personalised.

Not only will a modern consumer not engage with what they feel is generic content, it will actively turn them off from interacting with your brand all together.

Personalisation in business isn’t a new concept. Companies have sent out personalised direct mail and emails for a long time now, but digital transformation will empower businesses to take it to the next level.

Through the use of data and analytics, AI and automation, companies can now begin to embark on hyper-personalisation, which enables you to adapt to changes in preferences or circumstances in real-time.

A well-documented example of this is how streaming giant Netflix generates recommendations to viewers.

It’s estimated that more than 80% of the TV shows watched on the platform are discovered through its recommendation system. It uses a combination of machine learning and algorithms to help break viewers’ preconceived notions and find shows that they may not have initially chosen.

Using technology to collect and analyse customer data will reveal meaningful insights that enable you to target customers more precisely, but the first hurdle you’ll have to overcome is a reluctance to share data.

A string of high profile data breaches remind customers all too well of the perils of sharing their personal data. To reap the benefits of what this data can tell you, you need to reassure them that their data is protected and that you won’t abuse the access you’ve been granted.

Don’t neglect human touch

Ultimately, digital transformation is about bringing people and processes together. So just because you’re embracing new technologies and ways of doing things, doesn’t mean you should completely neglect the human side of things.

The famous saying goes: ‘people buy from people’. Despite the wealth of technology and innovation at our disposal, this still rings true today.

When we think of the word ‘digital’, our minds naturally pivot to images of computer screens, spreadsheets and software – things that are far removed from our concept of what it is to be human. And while this technology is useful in helping us work more efficiently and uncovering insights gleaned from data, there are some things that technology is no substitute for.

To truly enhance your customer experience, human intelligence and artificial intelligence need to work in perfect harmony with each other; they need to inform and regulate each other.

Human touch plays an integral role in humanising your brand. It reassures customers that your business is about more than profit alone; it demonstrates that you value their business beyond how much money they part with year-on-year.

Even in today’s digitally driven landscape customers crave human connection.

If your customer service department is largely serviced by automation or machine learning software, customers still want to feel as if they aren’t speaking to a robot. They want that software to be able to empathise with their paint points and to be responsive to their needs, instead of spitting out generic responses. Striking this delicate balance will help ensure digital transformation is a success in your business.

Could digital transformation help enhance your customer experience?

From NHS trusts to SMEs, at 6B we have a wealth of practical experience in helping organisations in a range of sectors replace outdated processes and systems and transition to a better way of working – and we could do the same for your business.

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