Advancing digital transformation through CX strategy

Carrie McIlveen

09 November 2017

Digital transformation has impacted nearly every part of the business world. Executives in all industries are leveraging emerging technologies to reshape their company’s operations, business models, products, marketing, and goals for future growth. Some companies are progressing better than others in the pursuit, while many are only beginning to embark on the journey. But, many industries and departments are finding it difficult to navigate through the digital marketplace.

Companies already on the digital transformation path have come to realize the sheer scope of the transformation can be overwhelming—analytics, mobility, platforms, social media, and among other issues. It’s not an easy road or something that happens overnight. Several obstacles often stand in the way. Lack of knowledge, technology costs and availability, the need to move quickly, insufficient resources, and competing priorities lead the list of barriers.

Many of these hurdles can be overcome with a comprehensive CX strategy to guide the progress forward—better customer understanding helps businesses transform.

The ultimate power of digital transformation can be seen through the lens of your customer.

Change is Inevitable—Plan to Evolve

Most companies cite the primary driver for digital change is based on customer behaviors and preferences. Yet, many executives don’t understand why they need to focus on the customer experience or how it will impact digital transformation.

Customer experience is a critical differentiator in today’s competitive and hyper-connected global marketplace. It represents multiple customer-centric growth opportunities, including strengthening brand preference, transforming company culture, reducing customer churn, increasing customer loyalty, and boosting revenue. By considering the customer, you can reimagine how you think about digital transformation.

Developing a CX strategy and integrating it with other initiatives creates a stronger organization that delivers exceptional value to its customers. To be effective driving customer experience, everyone should play a role to drive meaningful experiences and improve the customer journey. Gaining the depth of knowledge about customers is essential to aligning processes, products, and services to build real customer relationships.

The Customer Perspective

Customers need to feel that they are recognized and understood. The more brands deepen the understanding of their customer and emotional triggers, the better they will be at exceeding customer expectations and gaining a competitive advantage in the digital world.

Many things can affect the customer experience and build stronger relationships. While many organizations may already have a customer journey map developed, they should not simply try to digitize an existing journey. They need to identify how it can be improved and adapted to minimize the number of steps required by a customer. Are they meeting the customer’s needs? Are they fulfilling the customer’s expectations? To deliver a stellar experience, discover what makes customers happy—and what leads to customer dissatisfaction.

Transforming Strategy with AI

Although it is likely that you already have a great deal of information about your customers, you will need enough information to obtain a complete view. To learn about what truly matters to your customer requires new techniques, artificial intelligence (AI), social listening tools, and machine learning. Leveraging these insights gets you closer to the customer faster and better.

Carefully curate collections of data from all customer touch points and channels across your entire organization to develop a 360-degree view of your customer. To understand what resonates deeply with them, identify the context in which they operate, and see things from a different perspective to better engage in a meaningful way. The data will also reveal unique challenges that can provide direction on themed topics, assess capabilities, and how they can impact the digital ecosystem.

You also want to keep in mind that customers have more presence, power, and choice than ever before. Therefore, personalization in your CX strategy is not a nice-to-have, but a necessity. AI provides you with a powerful tool to harness data to make the customer experience personalized, effortless, and highly relevant.

Measure CX Success

Many companies only have a basic grasp of the value of a CX strategy and how it will impact their digital transformation. To distinguish the significance of every customer relationship, identify and track key customer-related metrics to define the effect it has on your business. These KPIs can include customer preferences, change in behavior, customer lifetime value (CLV), and customer equity, acquisition, and retention. These metrics will tell you about any underperformance, necessary improvements to be made, or areas of excellence.

Digital Transformation is a Journey, Not a Destination

Once you implement a new CX strategy, organizations can integrate and apply custom, purpose-built technology with the customer in mind. However, this strategy is a continuing initiative, not an isolated project. Customer behaviors will continue to change, so businesses must adapt. Embracing a digital future that seeks to better understand the new generation of digital customers will continue to guide the right technology and match priorities and investments with the areas of highest value—while driving meaningful experiences throughout the customer journey.