For many years, businesses have been investing in digital technologies to make them more efficient, more productive, more flexible and more connected. But digital transformation no longer has to be a large and expensive change management initiative. Instead, incremental changes and continuous improvements allow you to adapt quickly and cost-effectively to the ‘new normal’ in a post-pandemic world.
It is important to understand that customer experience (CX) considerations should be a priority when planning your deployments. Your approach should consider these three components:
- Data – to give you an accurate, single view of your customers, their journeys and behaviour across all channels, so you can understand how that impacts your operational efficiency.
- Personalisation – so you can treat customers as individuals, communicating the most impactful and contextually relevant message on their preferred channels at the best time. This boosts conversions and drives loyalty, contributing to better return on investment (ROI).
- Agility – so you can continue to adapt to the changing pandemic response and its effect on the business environment.
In this blog, I’ll take you through these three components in greater detail, so that you can turn them into your digital transformation action plan in a strategic, evidence-based way.
1. Centralise data
With so many channels and data sources at play – and staff physically spread out across home and office – you can no longer afford to have data silos. You need a centralised source of customer data so staff are empowered with the right data to offer the best possible experience wherever they’re working.
For example, you need an effective way to connect your CRM data with your email marketing platform and ERP system. That way, if a customer has a question about an order they placed based on an SMS offer they received, you can see the entire customer history in one place.
Thanks to data orchestration and APIs, this is easy to achieve without any impact on your established, legacy systems. Instead, solutions like Engage Hub sit on top of existing solutions, connecting silos in a GDPR-compliant way. Therefore, you have a centralised customer view that allows you to track journeys in real-time – and trigger meaningful, relevant communication.
2. Map customer journeys to identify where automation will add the greatest value
Forrester says that “journey mapping has a variety of benefits that stretch far beyond the tactical advantage it provides when CX professionals use it for improvement projects.” And “to succeed in customer journey mapping, CX professionals must first select an approach that is tailored to their current needs.”
Mapping gives you a bird’s-eye view of every interaction your customer has with your business – from first contact to purchase and beyond – across every channel. That way,
you see the business from your customers’ and prospects’ perspective. As mapping is a mechanism for better understanding and empathising with customers, you have the groundwork for more meaningful interactions and more profitable results.
Carry out a mapping exercise based on your business experience in the ‘new normal’. For example, if a customer wants to find where their order is, how do they get in touch? If they’re calling, how long are they on hold? How long does the call last once they get through to an agent? How do people behave during the authentication process? What data does the agent access during the call? Does the single call resolve the issue?
You can then see which processes will benefit most from automation – where you’ll see the most value in terms of improved customer experience and operational efficiency. However, don’t automate everything at once – test your hypothesis with a specific journey (or part of a journey). See what’s improved and see where customers are getting blocked, so you can incorporate that insight into your roll-out plan.
3. Analyse and optimise customer journeys in real-time
To optimise the customer experience – and direct investment in an effective, evidence-based way – you need to track customer journeys in real-time, which is possible once you’ve centralised data as in Step 1. That way, you can:
- Track progress through a journey – to identify how customers are interacting and what channels work best.
- Monitor drop-off points – so you can address weaknesses and trigger re-engagement when a customer falls off of expected journey.
- Keep customer on the ideal journey – by automating a personalised path on their preferred combination of channels.
- Pre-empt issues – using behavioural data to communicate proactively and minimise inbound queries. This then gives you an easy way to track KPIs and ROI in real-time, so you can make informed decisions.
COVID-19 has turned every aspect of life upside down in just 8 months. Digital-led experiences will continue to grow in popularity even after the pandemic has passed, and companies that act quickly and innovate in their delivery model will cement a strong advantage that delivers rapid and measurable ROI.
Get in touch to find out more about how Engage Hub’s unique customer engagement solutions help you boost efficiency, drive engagement and thrive in these new market conditions.