It’s no secret that the digital transformation of customer services has been taking a swing since the pandemic hit us.
It’s also no secret that many businesses and organizations have already successfully implemented digital transformation into their operations.
What might be a secret to some, is how it actually applies to customer support and how to work out that digital transformation of customer services.
So let’s try to sort out all the things and find out where to start your digital transformation strategy of customer services.
What Is Digital Transformation?
In simple English, digital transformation means adopting new technologies and tools that impact and reshape your business operations to be more flexible and live online.
Quite simple. Or at least, it may seem so. But digital transformation changes the way people do business once and forever.
How is a digital transformation applied to customer service? Transformation of customer services involves changing how companies interact with their customers and providing them with the experience whenever they need it.
Like it or not, digital changes don't happen because of the company itself; it is the customer who is in the driver’s seat. It is no secret that customers today are not the same as they used to be about a decade ago. Mobile devices, AI, apps, automation, and other tech advancements have changed their behavior for good.
Digital transformation is not about evolving tech devices; it's about implementing intelligent technologies into your business operations.
This has resulted in the appearance of the new type of customer. This person is always online; they are native users of a mobile phone and different apps who prefer companies with modern technologies onboard over those with more traditional approaches to customer services.
Today, the customer-centric business model has become the go-to strategy for many businesses. That’s why you have to keep up with the latest technologies to provide an unmatched customer experience.
The Impact of Digital Transformation on Business
Just like evolution ensures that species survive under different conditions, digital transformation makes sure that businesses stay afloat through all the technical advancements and changes worldwide.
What exactly does digital transformation mean for business? Just two words: happy customers. Those people are:
- x6 times more likely to buy a product or service from you
- x4 times more likely to become your brand advocate and refer you to their connections
- x2 times more likely to buy your products even if your competitor offers a more lucrative option
Still, many businesses view digital transformation as a disruption when, instead, they have to treat it as a golden opportunity to add value to their business operations.
So, what are the benefits you can get by employing digital transformation?
- Digital transformation gives any business a unique opportunity for a makeover of its operations. Communication, analytics, data storage — all these business operations become more collaborative and flexible with digitalization.
- Customer relations play an essential role in the success of the company. Technological advancements improve the brand-customer relationship by giving a better understanding of the customers’ needs and wants.
- Customer experience is vital for any business, and the digital business offers better customer services to its customers.
- Digital transformation helps streamline and automate all the workflows within a company. As a result, the digital workplace allows businesses to grow fast and adapt to technical changes.
- When a company employs a data-driven strategy, its management can predict all the possibilities for growth and improvements.
How to Succeed with Digital Transformation in Customer Services?
Successful digital transformation of customer engagement and services requires several changes from your business.
- For your sales team, it means forgetting about cold calling and replacing it with social selling. It means you use your social media to find prospects. You are sharing content, responding to comments, answering questions till the very moment when a prospect is ready to buy. This way, you don't need to wait until a potential lead reaches you; instead, you have to build a relationship with them.
- Your marketing team means focusing on different digital channels to establish a multichannel presence for your business. This will help you build two-way communication with your customers to understand their needs and provide them with a seamless customer experience.
- For your customer services team, it means becoming more proactive in helping your customers. They take customers’ pain points away and offer solutions to their problems before the issue even arises. It also includes leveling up your customer service ecosystem by using different communication channels — social media, forums, different online communities, and the like.
What Are the New Capabilities of the Customer Services?
Have you ever googled the difference between customer success vs customer experience? I have, and they aren’t the same as it has turned out.
Customer experience (CX) is all about customers. It starts with creating positive experiences that enhance customer relationships with a particular company or brand. It may not even result in buying as a final goal; instead, it should lay a foundation for lasting relationships.
Customer success (CS) aims to understand how a customer engages with a particular product or service and find a way to optimize this process. Optimization means finding different approaches to customer success and understanding both delightful and frustrating sides of customer interaction with a product or service.
Both cover great customer service practices. But what’s the difference:
- Customer experience starts before a customer gets into the buying journey, and customer success focuses on post-sales.
- Customer experience strives to develop positive relationships with customers, and customer success helps customers use a product or service to its fullest.
So they share one goal: to provide a customer with a positive outcome. They also got mixed in the digital transformation of customer services and, in some cases, influenced the flow of
- omnichannel customer interactions
- IoT and connected devices
- nurturing customer communities
Omnichannel customer interactions
Technological advancements resulted in changes in customer behavior. They do not want to wait even several minutes and expect to get help even on weekends. That is why companies must be accessible and offer their customers instant support if they want to succeed.
Besides, customers do not use only one communication channel — they use different social media, read forums and blogs. Taking into account all those channels will help you create a digital customer profile, which you can use each time a customer interacts with your brand.
IoT and connected devices
Multiple digital devices and gadgets and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming how people work. But what is IoT? To put it simply, it is a network of billions of physical devices that are connected and share the data via the Internet. IDC predicts that by 2025, there will be about 55.7 billion connected IoT devices.
How can IoT devices help drive digital transformation?
- More opportunities: IoT devices, and especially the data they generated, can help better interpret customer needs, enhance personalization, and, as a result, lead to better conversion.
- Better customer satisfaction: if you establish a dialogue with your customer, their happiness level will rise.
- Increased revenue: the data collected with the help of IoT devices can help you predict your customer needs and speed up the delivery of revenue-generating offers.
- Improved productivity: IoT provides your employees with better productivity and agility thanks to the automation of the working processes.
- Better flexibility: IoT makes it very easy to implement new tools and systems, leading to enhanced productivity and accessibility of your employees.
Nurturing customer communities
Did you know that 86% of customers would pay more if they received a better customer experience? The truth is that what people need is a positive customer experience and a little bit of personal touch.
The question you should always ask yourself is — 'How to nurture your customers and create meaningful relationships with them?'
If you know your buyers, you can successfully develop lasting relationships with them. But how to get to know them?
You can do it by gathering their data and studying their behavior. Then build a detailed profile of their needs, preferences, along with their key characteristics. This, in turn, enhances the prediction of their buying behavior and improved service to meet customer needs.
Here are some of the options how to collect this data easily:
- Online tracking: your website is a perfect tool to collect data about your customer's preferences, behavior, and interests. On condition, you’ve set your analytic tools to measure the right actions, clicks, scrolls.
- Marketing analysis: you can use your marketing activities to collect information, slice and dice it correctly to improve your further steps.
- Social media: that’s a good source for learning the needs of your potential customers, their complaints on competitors, and a desired service or product.
How to Build a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy?
About $1.3 trillion was spent on digital transformation in 2018. However, that turned out to be just burning piles of money. Many companies were not prepared for changes and took digital strategy development way too easy. Why so? That initiative goes a bit further than investing and adopting cutting-edge technologies. It is more about reshaping the approach to business operations with preserving the essence of your business strategy.
Digital transformation of customer services should include some crucial milestones to be a success.
#1 Build your digital transformation strategy before making an investment
It is crucial to create your strategy first if you want your company to survive and stay ahead of the competition. A good strategy should include the following steps:
- Business assessment: creating a digital transformation strategy should always begin with assessing your current business operations, your strategic goals, and growth opportunities.
- Research on the competitors: it is vital to know your competitors in the same niche. Search for the progress of their digital transformation and which digital solutions they choose. This data will help you understand the current market and your business opportunities.
- Make digital initiatives your priority: get the most out of digitalization and prioritize your digital initiatives based on the value they bring to your business.
- Create a plan: it should include delivery, budget, and resource aspects. Create a roadmap for your digital initiatives, think of the budget you need for their implementation, and assess your current capabilities for business growth.
Your strategy will help you better understand which tools and software will suit your needs best and which opportunities you will have in the future.
#2 Change your current customer journey
When the customer is the center of everything, you need to reimagine your customer journey to get a personalized experience, not one that fits most. Customers enjoy personalized journeys, and you aim to create one that will benefit both your business and customers.
What is the recipe for it? It is pretty simple — you just need to track where your customers come from, what resources they are interested in, and what data they seek. All this information will help you create a journey tailored to your customers’ needs and interests.
#3 Add personalization to your strategy
As we have already discussed, buyers want to be treated as individuals, so businesses need to find out their preferences, know their purchase history, and act according to this data. A personalized approach can do wonders if applied correctly, and multiple digital tools can help you.
Any personalization tool aims to customize your content following the customer's behavioral patterns and characteristics. For instance, recall using conversational AI to answer customers' questions and offer solutions in customer services. Chatbots can collect and analyze the data to understand a customer's interest and provide relevant recommendations.
#4 Create a new IT ecosystem
Any digital strategy is powered up with technologies. However, according to the survey, 45% of business leaders lack the necessary technologies for implementing a successful digital transformation of customer services.
What Are These Must-Have Tools and Software?
First, it’s cloud technologies as they help companies become agile and flexible. With cloud on board, you can meet customers' needs much faster and more effectively.
A help desk system is also an essential tool that will help you record your customers and get data on customers’ interactions with your company. However, choosing a help desk system could be a very time-consuming task. If your current help desk tool doesn’t work well, don't settle for mediocre: migrate your existing data, and our migration service will take care of the technical aspect of a data switch.
Using modern software systems will also help your company better protect your data. For instance, it’s essential to have endpoint protection software and a web gateway to prevent system infection by different malware software and data leaks. On top of that, if you use cloud technologies, don’t forget about data encryption to protect your sensitive data.
The digital transformation of customer services is quite a challenge. To implement it successfully, you have to:
- Opt for cloud technologies. The next time you need to upgrade your business operations, don’t choose on-site tech solutions; instead, try cloud tools. Such technologies are very flexible and agile, and they can help you solve customer problems more effectively and faster. Besides, you don’t need to worry about data leaks or other security issues because of their reliability. You will always stay updated with cloud technologies as they usually have the latest features on board, are easily upgraded, and are integrated with other business tools.
- Personalization is the key. Today customers expect nothing less than a personalized approach towards them and their issues. You can use a reliable help desk system to get to know your customers, track their history, preferences, and your previous interactions with them.
- Multichannel interaction wins. Buyers use different communication channels to get a seamless customer experience, no matter what communication channel they prefer today. Consider using as many communication channels as you can, and tie them together to provide the best customer services to your customers.
Keeping in mind all these three factors, you will be able to build a top-notch digital transformation strategy for your business.