According to one study,1 70 percent of all digital transformation initiatives do not reach their goals. This is a disturbingly large percentage, and it stems from the inability of organizations to recognize an unimpeachable truth. Digital transformations, at their core, are actually business transformations that must drive improved outcomes by creating true customer value. Technology is integral to digital transformation, no doubt, but Customer Experience (CX) remains its prime mover.
Here are five golden imperatives to achieve customer-centric digital transformation.
Drive omni-channel hyper-personalization to stay hyper-relevant
We are looking at a new digital era of customer control today. Loyalty has given way to relevance and people will gravitate towards a brand only if they find it relevant to their ‘in the moment’ needs. The hyper-personalization of experience must be hyper-relevant – and this involves creating omni-channel fields of attraction that serve every relevant need at all moments.
Take the example of US pharmacy chain Walgreens. The company enabled truly personalized omni-channel digital health by ensuring customers could toggle between online and offline in a seamless and cohesive manner. Prescription refills and access to virtual doctor consultations are easily available via e-mail, phone and mobile application.
Provide the right balance of digital and human-assisted CX
The right emotional connects with fully engaged customers result in 23 percent additional revenue for organizations.2 In one of my blogs,3 I have spoken extensively about the need for driving CX by integrating advanced analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and intelligent automation with an agile team.
There is nothing more frustrating than an automated response or chatbot that simply keeps the conversation in a loop when a customer desperately wants a resolution. AI-led chatbots, infused with sentiment analytics, have the capability to identify dissatisfaction in a customer’s voice and re-direct the query to a human agent who can offer empathy-driven service. Striking the right balance — knowing which interactions to automate and when the customer needs to talk to a human agent — is key to achieving superior CX4 in this evolving normal.
Create a data-driven, customer-centric culture
As we trace the rise of the digital customer, it is clear there is no archetypal persona to cater to. What seems relevant today will most probably not be so tomorrow — and organizations need to navigate through this reality.
This is where data analytics plays a crucial role with its ability to both act ‘in the moment’ and anticipate the next. All transactions and engagements provide valuable data that can enable decisions for powerful personalization and relevance. While looking to glean greater value from data, organizations should focus more on establishing best practices that enable them to adopt innovative technologies quickly.
US retailer Target, for example, creates what is called ‘sessions’ around multiple customer journey touchpoints on different platforms. The company tracks customers as they move through different devices and creates targeted campaigns with relevant messaging for the right products, on the right channels. Additionally, the company has set up a center of excellence in data and analytics which manages data securely and consistently while powering its business intelligence capabilities.
Provide ‘in the moment’ CX
Automaker Volkswagen made an internal assessment that consumers will most likely respond to fun moments. The company created a piano staircase inside a subway at Stockholm that made music as commuters walked up and down. The result was quite phenomenal. Sixty-six percent more people opted for the stairs over the escalator.5
Today’s consumers need to be wooed as much in their ‘moments of truth’ as in their total customer journey. Google termed it as the Zero Moment of Truth. It calls for analytical-driven filtering of customer moods to provide ‘on the spot’ and ‘in the moment’ experiences.
It is essentially about charting a path at the right moment to swiftly make customers do something that gives them fulfilment and at the same time what the organizations want them to do. This calls for sharp insights that converge customers’ thought processes, personas and needs. Advanced analytical techniques can proactively and predictively model these ‘moments of truth’. Beyond outstanding CX, they also create strongly positive customer memories that lead to brand advocacy.
Introduce Industry Relevant Customer Success Factors
While different industries have similar high-level goals (such as increasing revenue and improving CX), their unique priorities should be considered while building effective CX models. One study6 revealed that financial services and manufacturing companies ranked the highest among experience-driven businesses. Business-to-business technology companies and government agencies ranked the lowest.
Superior products might be the driver for manufacturing, higher revenues for financial services, and cohesive cross-functional experiences for the media and entertainment industry. Hence, it’s crucial to draw up the right customer success factors that are agile and flexible to address each industry’s dynamics.
Achieving digital competence in a new era of shifting relevance is undoubtedly a significant challenge. As mobile-enabled consumers constantly re-evaluate their purchasing choices and decisions, companies will have to find the right means to discover and act on their ‘in the moment’ moods. Businesses that hit this sweet spot will master the art of pivoting successfully to tap into opportunities and accelerate growth.