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digital transformation customer experience [shutterstock: 558630217, Alfa Photo]
[shutterstock: 558630217, Alfa Photo]
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How Customer Experience Drives Digital Transformation

Back in 2007, most mobile phones weren’t capacitive touchscreen devices. That year was the first time we all saw two of the first touchscreen smartphones - the LG Prada and the Apple iPhone.

Most websites back then were also just static HTML pages – they were designed to be viewed using a laptop or a computer. So if you were to read this article back in 2007 using the first iPhone, you would pinch to zoom and scroll around just to see the words clearly because the article was uploaded to a site designed to be viewed through laptop and computer screens.

These experiences caused handheld device users too much inconvenience. It wasn’t until 2008 when the first Android touchscreen smartphone came out that set the trend for web designers to create dynamic web pages. By the year 2016, most people possessed modern smartphones, which also increased web traffic. This accelerated the transition of businesses’ websites from static HTML pages to dynamic and mobile-friendly web pages.

Such a massive change in internet marketing is an example of what we call digital transformation. It all happened because business owners and internet companies realized that to drive more sales and traffic as well as improve customer retention, customer experience must be as flawless as possible – which was the new market reality at the time and still is today.

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What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is when businesses upgrade the old digital technologies and systems they use to the latest ones. This is to provide services and interact with their customers in a better way.

Below are five examples of new customer experience trends and the digital transformation that can occur as a result.

B2B sales

Business-to-business transactions are often riddled with bureaucracy, which makes deal cycles longer. An output company representative may need to wait a few days before meeting face-to-face with a raw material company representative for negotiations.

By applying the concept of digital transformation, meetings and deals should be held via Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. It is faster, easier, and saves more money than traveling by land, sea, or air. When the meeting has been concluded and a deal has been closed, all documents should be signed electronically, with all parties receiving each copy of the signed documents via e-mail.

Marketing teams

A badly-timed and irrelevant advertisement or marketing e-mail can ruin customer experience. Sometimes users fail see the marketing campaign because they were busy or asleep. Other times, customers feel they aren’t getting the personalization they are used to from other providers.

Digital transformation allows marketing teams to fix these customer experience problems. Examples of these fixes are e-mail automation and personalization – e-mail campaigns can then be sent on schedules appropriate to a user’s daily activities. Ads and product promotions are shown based on a customer’s interest. And e-mail subject lines are automatically written to address a customer personally.

Customer service teams

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to infect people worldwide, staying at home is still the best way to keep safe and curve the spread. That makes us more dependent on the internet than ever before for purchasing essential goods or asking for help.

That also means a massive increase in customer interaction regarding problems and inquiries. Businesses will need to hire more customer service teams, expand their presence to other online platforms, and rely heavily on automated e-mail marketing software and virtual communication platforms to help more customers and address their issues immediately.

Contactless and self-service

Besides staying at home, receiving purchased goods bought from online stores through delivery personnel breaks social distancing protocols. The use of drones for delivery is a smart digital transformation strategy.

Other online shopping problems are payment processes, giving a heads-up when the customers’ ordered goods are out for delivery, and signing a document that shows a buyer has received the goods. This can be addressed by integrating online payment systems such as PayPal and wire transfers. To inform a customer that their package is out for delivery, an online store business can use e-mail automation. For signing a package without actually requiring a signature, brands can include a QR sticker for the receiver to scan and sign digitally.

Customer and employee relationships

With many business-related articles available online, customers are now aware of marketing strategies and will evaluate brands on a more human scale. This means their loyalty to businesses will depend on how they treat their employees and how they do business behind the screen. As a company that aims to put customer and employee experience first, the brand must be aware of communication and data transfer conditions among employees, employers, and customers. Incorporating 5G connections will be the right digital transformation project for this topic.

Getting started with digital transformation

The first step should be to create a flexible and agile IT environment. This means that a brand should have an online presence everywhere and be available at all times. An example of this digital transformation is making a social media account for the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more. With a flexible IT working environment, you can make sure your customers’ issues from different locations and social media preferences are tended to at all times because you have employees ready to troubleshoot their issues 24/7 on various platforms.

An agile IT environment adds availability to fix any kind of problem in any way and makes troubleshooting easier. Setting automated support that has customer data to analyze adds to the IT environment’s flexibility. Furthermore, if customer service representatives are given the option to work at home, they should have webcams and headphones for customers wanting help via video call, voice call, or chat support. Include cloud adoption so that service representatives can quickly identify each customer through registered data.

Most consumers nowadays aren’t tied to one customer experience channel. We still browse for goods in physical stores, shop through websites, check reviews on YouTube or Reddit first, and inquire about products through sellers’ social media accounts. By creating a highly reliable phone application for an online store, businesses can easily combine all these shopping needs into one platform. Customers can also browse the app for products to buy anywhere at any time.

Customers nowadays would furthermore prefer businesses to treat them uniquely and not just as a cash cow. Instead of recklessly sending adverts and e-mail campaigns, businesses must undergo a digital transformation through customer personalization to deliver well-timed and relevant content.

This is done by automatically recording a customer’s purchase history, personal information, and online activity behavior in a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. After these data are acquired, you can then analyze each customer’s data to build a customer profile, address them directly in your e-mail campaigns/ads, and make product recommendations based on their search query and previous purchases.

There are different ways to identify customer experience trends. You can ask them directly for feedback or let them participate in a survey on what they want and what’s needed for your business improvement. You can also put yourself in their shoes and find inconveniences to be fixed. Once you have found the customer experience issues, review all the available tools you can use to transform your business model digitally. If there aren’t any, create your own by combining different tools.

About the author

Efrat Vulfsons, PR Soprano

Efrat Vulfsons is the co-founder of PR Soprano and a data-driven marketing enthusiast, parallel to her soprano opera singing career. Efrat holds a B.F.A from the Jerusalem Music Academy in Opera Performance.

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