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Customers first! Keeping the customer in mind when going digital

 Improving the customer experience has become a top strategic priority for many organisations trying to stay ahead of their competition, compete for market share, and secure consumer loyalty. Today, conversations about customer experience typically include enabling business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions through digital channels to provide a fantastic experience that consumers have come to expect. – Quadient Whitepaper by Madison Advisors..

Changes in how we work, what our customers want, and how to deliver on those needs were brought to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology is ever-changing and so are customer expectations.

Digital transformation has been accelerated, integrating digital technology into all areas of business. Although all business aspects are incorporated into the transformation process, many organisations do not consider what customers want or how these transformations will impact the customer journey. Ultimately, they risk losing customers to competitors who offer a better customer experience.

Reg Bath, Chief Executive Officer: Technology at InsideData Group says: “Companies should always strive to keep the customer in mind in the services and solutions it offers. Even the most innovative companies require an effective omni-channel strategy that combines traditional and digital solutions to improve customer experience and deliver great customer engagement, putting the customer first.”

What Customers Want

According to a survey conducted by Keypoint Intelligence, the 2020 Annual State of Marketing Communications Consumer Survey, customers want personalised communication in print, digital, or both formats, accompanied by a great experience. Since preferences are ever-changing, companies must remain up to date to deliver what their customers want.

The study found that:

  • Approximately 46%of respondents, regardless of age or technology-adopter type, had no desire to go paperless.
  • Nearly 40% of adopters would pay a premium if guaranteed good customer experience.

The quest to find the best way to address customer wants requires a strategic omni-channel transformation that delivers on the customer experience – the sum of all customer interactions with a company or brand throughout a seamless customer journey.

“A well-defined omni-channel strategy should not only address the customer wants, but also ensure that customers continue to have a great, seamless, positive, personalised, experience during all touchpoints,” highlights Bath.

He continues, “Since customer journeys aren’t simple, it could be beneficial to partner with outsourced solution providers such as InsideData, to help simplify and personalise the customer journey connections to achieve customer experience excellence.”

Addressing customers’ real needs 

Companies often fail across digital channels because they are insufficiently aware of the real needs and preferences of their customers across omni-channel journeys. – McKinsey & Company

The McKinsey & Company article highlights the importance of a well-defined omni-channel strategy to address customers’ real needs and discuss the steps required to create the strategy.

The first step is to incorporate a customer-service strategy or set of principles that encompasses not only a vision of how to deliver an excellent experience but also how these interactions should feel for the different types of customers. Once companies have gained greater visibility into customer personas, they can start to design and map end-to-end service journeys across channels. These journeys should consider the migration of a customer across channels to ensure seamless handoffs.

The next step comprises investing in and developing foundational enablers such as agile process redesign and a workforce with the right service skill set, all supported by well-designed and efficient foundational capabilities. The principles, service journeys, and functional enablers should be supported by an integrated IT architecture that can help to deliver a seamless experience, concludes the McKinsey & Company article.

The best way to continue and improve to deliver on real customer needs is to map and monitor the customer journey and its success across print and digital touchpoints while receiving customer experience feedback to make real-time improvements. “This is possible with key solutions such as a cloud-based ‘Customer Journey Mapping¹’” says Bath.

 Conclusion

Digital transformation is not just about enabling new channels, it is also about upgrading business operations to ensure that customers continue to have a positive experience across all touchpoints and with every interaction. For those companies that are starting this journey, the message is clear: When moving to digital, always keep the customer in mind. – 

Today more than ever, customers are always connected, with instant access to information amplifying their expectations, often referred to as the “now economy”. Customers expect on-demand convenience and fast response, reliable, transparent, real-time support, and flexible need-based personalised services. But most importantly, customers want companies to maintain an element of interaction and care to ensure a memorable brand experience, a fact that they often lose sight of.

According to Bath, “Personal attention across omni-channels is best achieved through personalised, innovative communication across the correct mix of digital and traditional channels. InsideData’s next-generation solutions enable companies to personalise communications and get the message delivered across the customer journey from start to end.”

The customer journey and wanting to increase levels of personalisation or customisation to map and monitor the complex environment, outsourcing is a great strategy. It offers access to more advanced technologies while allowing them to focus on their core business.

For more information on how to obtain your cloud-based customer-journey mapping tool or for next-generation personalised, innovative end-to-end solutions across traditional and digital channels visit https://www.insidedata.co.za.

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