When A Great Customer Experience Requires Digital Transformation To Succeed
Greg works in Customer Experience and Digital Transformation; he’s host of the Agile World Podcast and author of The Center of Experience.
With so many brands in a race to compete on customer experience, it can often take a lot to pull ahead of the pack. For organizations that have a disconnected experience for consumers, or that are unable to clearly see critical data points in order to improve the customer journey, it is often necessary to make some broad changes. This digital transformation can require changes to operations, data and technology infrastructure, customer touchpoints and other aspects. Quite often, changes that happen within a digital transformation initiative can have a positive impact on the customer experience.
In my experience consulting companies on the best approaches for both customer experience and digital transformation initiatives, the two are very closely related and should be approached that way.
In this article, we are going to explore when and why you may need to invest in digital transformation in order to optimize your brand’s customer experience. Let’s explore three areas where digital transformation can have a big impact on your CX.
Your Customers Are Feeling The Disconnect
Let’s start from a customer-centric perspective, since our focus is on customer experience, after all. If you are experiencing dropping customer satisfaction, fewer repeat customers or less positive word of mouth, there’s a good chance that your customers are not having an optimal experience. An important driver for many digital transformation initiatives is their direct impact on and relationship to the customer experience.
If you don’t have a good understanding of your customers and their entire life cycle from your data, it is likely that digital transformation is necessary. Making key changes to how you collect data and tie information from one step in the customer journey to the next can provide you with a better view of challenges as well as opportunities to make improvements. Also, if your customers are feeling that your own products and systems are disconnected from one another, you need to consider doing something about it.
Internal Teams Are Out Of Sync
Even if your customers are having a relatively seamless experience, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an inordinate amount of effort, wasted time and resources, or employee frustration about what it takes to maintain the customer experience.
When internal teams aren’t able to work together well, and when systems and processes are standing in their way, there will inevitably be disconnects with the customer experience that you deliver.
For instance, in any digital transformation, the IT group will need to be involved in some capacity. While many SaaS platforms take some of the burden off of IT infrastructure, there are still many moving pieces related to security, integration, access and support that this critical team needs to be involved in. This is often compounded by the increasing use of technology by all teams, from human resources to marketing to operations.
Meaningful Measurement Is Not Possible
While the era of big data might have buried us in zeros and ones, there is a big difference between getting the right and wrong analytics to make strategic decisions. Great customer experience needs measurement to improve, and historically, many of the metrics and reporting have been siloed and difficult to correlate for decades in many cases.
For instance, many organizations still struggle with correlating pre- and post-sale data, or in-store and online sales, or customer service requests. Those that have made investments in digital transformation of the systems, platforms and processes that affect the customer experience are typically better able to track meaningful measurements of CX, whereas their competitors are often cobbling together a variety of metrics from many sources and less able to find actionable insights.
To get started on a digital transformation to improve your CX, revisit your understanding of your current customer journey and ask yourself two questions: First, are you able to meaningfully measure customers’ progress from start to finish, and if not, what systems or integrations would be helpful to see connected? Second, do customers have a clear path to complete their journey from start to finish, and if not, what hurdles can you solve for them with better digital integration?
By understanding some of the pain points in your customer experience efforts, you can use the above criteria to understand how much of an impact digital transformation can make in improving your CX.
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