How Digital Transformation Improves Customer Outcomes

May 23, 2017 by

How Digital Transformation Improves Customer Outcomes

Today’s Digital Technology Can Make or Break the Customer Experience

According to some, the fourth industrial revolution is upon us. Businesses that reap the benefits will serve customers better and stay ahead of the competition.

The concept of the fourth industrial revolution is one that has gained traction with a number of the most influential commentators. There can be no doubt that business practices and interactions have altered beyond recognition over the past couple of decades, creating a new commercial landscape.

From social media to ecommerce, and from cloud based systems to remote working, technology has not just changed the way we do business. It has also caused a paradigm shift in the whole dynamic between a commercial organisation and its customers.

A further consequence of the digital age is that most commercial environments are more competitive than ever. New enterprises start every day, and with the increase in those that are predominantly or entirely web-based, the barriers to entry can be negligible.

All of this means that it is more important than ever for businesses to differentiate themselves through a competitive edge that goes beyond the traditional price, quality and speed metrics. Customer experience might be seen as an ephemeral concept, but it can be the defining factor that makes all the difference, and it is intrinsically linked to digital transformation.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation describes the way a company uses technology to connect and interact with its customers. It encompasses a broad range of activities, processes and skills.

It is all about transforming into a digital business that uses technology-based strategies, processes and resources to enhance customer value and thereby improve those traditional measures of brand reputation, market share and revenue.

Typically, tools include databases, web portals, social media, mobile technology and geo-location.

Customer experience and engagement

In days gone by, delivering a good customer experience was all about selling them the product or service that served their purposes at a reasonable price, in the hope that they would come back for more, and even recommend you to their friends.

Today, the underlying objective is not so different, but the methodology and approach is far more sophisticated and wide-ranging. It is possible to make a real difference to the customer experience both before and after they actually purchase and take delivery of your product or service.

For example, social media provides an amazing opportunity to develop warm leads long before they become customers, and to stay in touch and continue to give a better experience after they have made their purchase.

Engagement is key – an engaged customer will spend more money more often, and will tell their friends.

Clearing the hurdles

Like any business process, there can be pain as well as pleasure in achieving digital transformation. Senior management can be resistant to change and dubious as to the benefits that it will bring, so there is a need to provide empirical evidence along with case studies of what can be achieved, and the dangers of being left behind in the 21st century competitive environment.

And it is not only senior managers that need to be convinced. Humans can be a conservative bunch, and can have an aversion to change. In the face of suspicion and resistance, consider the use of some external expertise to educate everyone as to the benefits of digital transformation.

After all, it is more than just an opportunity for growth – in the long term, it is a matter of survival.

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