Digitizing Customer Experience: Step-by-Step Guide for Business Success

June 30, 2024


July 08, 2024

Customer experience allows companies to differentiate themselves from other players even in the most highly competitive market. However, approaches to customer experience are also undergoing serious changes. And if you ignore the current trends in this business area, you may find yourself behind your competitors.

For companies, digital transformation is an opportunity to improve the customer experience and increase customer loyalty. It is a strategic shift in which companies that rely on outdated technologies turn to digital technologies to maintain their market position and stay ahead of the competition.

Why is digital transformation a prerequisite for success?

When a company becomes a buddy who can recommend the right product or offer a truly relevant value-added service, customers start to look at it differently and choose it not for the savings. People choose it for the communication, attentiveness, approach to work, and the value it brings to them. The shift to building relationships with your audience instead of buying their choice for a share of the margin is what true customer experience transformation should look like.

To have a friendly relationship with your customers, you must understand their needs and find new ways to fulfill them. Modern technologies that collect data and optimize all business processes within a company are beneficial. Ultimately, they help save time and money, increase efficiency, and push the company to grow.

The value of digital transformation should be clear to any company: if you eliminate friction and improve the customer experience, you’re taking a huge step towards increased profitability. And while the positive effects can be felt immediately after transformation, its real value lies in its long-term benefits and prospects. If a company becomes agile, it will be easier to adapt and scale.

If your company needs help, we at SoloWay Tech can provide you with our digital transformation consulting service.

What industries are relevant for digital transformation?

Retail and banking are the two sectors that first come to mind when considering digital transformation. Companies that are just thinking about it or at the beginning of their journey should be inspired by their experience.

In the case of retail, the breakthrough was not only the emergence of e-commerce but also the changes in the offline store experience. The retail experience has greatly improved for customers and the companies themselves due to the emergence of automated inventory and analytics systems. Convenience, along with promotions, loyalty programs, and e-coupons, has transformed the experience for shoppers. All of this has been made possible by technology and digital transformation.

Just a couple of decades ago, clipping coupons from newspapers and magazines was standard practice for shoppers who wanted to take advantage of a bargain offer from a store. Now, purchases are tracked by digital systems that give companies personalized information about a particular user. This information can be used to create effective advertising, coupons, and discounts that meet users’ real needs rather than shooting sparrows.

We also recommend you read our article Digital Transformation in Healthcare: Technology Acceptance and Its Applications.

5 reasons to invest in digitized customer experience

Customer experience (CX) is a customer’s perception of how they are treated by a company at all stages of interaction, from initial contact to post-sales service. The perceptions customers form influence their behavior and create memories and emotions that sustain or destroy their loyalty. 

The question always arises in the mind of a company manager: 

If we have a quality product or service, why should we spend money on improving the customer experience since our product is already competitive?

In reality, it’s not that simple – today, betting only on the quality of the product is not enough. Here are 5 reasons to invest in digitized customer experience:

  • Increased competition. Companies need to stand out and attract new customers in a highly competitive market. Improving the customer experience can be key to success. Customers will value their unique experience when interacting with a company and choose its products or services again. 
  • Transformation of customer preferences. Today’s customers are becoming more demanding and expect a high level of service and quality of care. They are willing to pay to improve their experience. According to PWC, it can be about a 15% increase in price.
  • Digitalization. With the rise of digitalization, customers interact more with companies online. This requires the creation of user-friendly and intuitive interfaces that can improve the customer experience.
  • Personalization. Customers appreciate a personalized approach to service. Companies can use customer data to create customized offers and improve interactions with each individual customer.
  • Cost reduction. This can happen at every stage of the customer interaction. For example, a well-organized and qualified helpdesk can reduce the number of requests and the waiting time for a response. This can result in satisfied customers and higher ROI.

These benefits are clear to many entrepreneurs. According to a Metrigy survey, more than 65% of them intended to increase customer experience (CX) spending by an average of 24% annually in 2023.

Top 5 customer experience trends in terms of digitalization

For investments in customer experience to bring real benefits to the business, you need to bet on trends with greater potential and serious prospects. There are many contenders for this position and many examples of digital transformation.

For example, immersive customer experience involves creating new experiences with the help of technology (including VR and AR) or marketing initiatives that will capture the customer. Another example is using digital twins of customers, which makes it possible to simulate consumer behavior and work out problem areas without losses for the real business.

Some trends have already failed to meet experts’ expectations, although high hopes were associated with them. For example, feedback management platforms have stopped growing and are losing their relevance without finding a point of explosive growth. In our opinion, this is because such platforms are especially useful in tracking negativity, and the task of all services is to reduce negativity. So, the more efficient the services are, the less value there is in a feedback management platform.

At SoloWay Tech, we highlight 5 trends that, as our experience shows, have already proven their worth and will not lose their relevance in the coming years. They can and even should be relied upon when digitizing customer experience:

  • Analytics and data storage. The more data a company has about the customer and his or her behavior, the higher the accuracy of forecasts, targeting, etc. Accordingly, the more accurate the hit to the customer’s needs and desires is. He who rules the data rules the world.
  • Data-driven personalization algorithms. The more accurate the personalization, the higher the conversion and the lower the bounce rate. Thousands of small online stores are draining huge budgets in the fight for customers because they don’t have the data to properly target and personalize offers.
  • Omnicanality. For any business, it is very important to study customer behavior not only in the digital product but also beyond it: email, social media, phone, real communication, etc. At the same time, customers are not ready to repeat the question they came up with at every touch point—you need intelligent identification and integration with CRM to track interactions across all channels.
  • AI consultants (both text (chatbots) and voice (AI assistants)). Bots can learn much faster than humans and help the customer move down the funnel more accurately, maximizing customer satisfaction. This is especially true for voice commerce.
  • CJM design and integration with CRM. CJM is a map of the customer’s journey, reflecting his or her real movement. As practice shows, this journey does not coincide with the funnel stages in the CRM system. This means that few people in the company understand what stage of their journey the client is at, whether he or she has decided to buy, in what mood he or she makes the payment, etc. Integration of CRM and CJM will make the path transparent and understandable. It will allow you to see what stage needs to be optimized, improved, and corrected. It will bring profit to the business.

Machine learning is the most influential trend and key technology in the digital customer experience. It has the potential to change everything, and we can’t yet predict the consequences of this transformation with precision. We can only outline some of the paths we will have to take.

For example, “old school” experts design interfaces, test, then launch, test again, gather feedback, redesign, test, and repeat this path for each project from scratch. Innovative approaches involve using AI technologies and machine learning to continually iteratively improve the interface design mechanism itself. In this case, meeting the needs and desires of the customer will become easier every year as data for training will be accumulated. Thus, the influence of the human factor on the result will be reduced. And this is just one example.

How are companies achieving digital transformation in customer experience?

Like all modern technology businesses, the technologies that underpin digital transformation can be divided into two categories: hardware and software. Beyond that, there is data—the lifeblood of all these systems.

Hardware is an important driver for companies relying on personal customer interaction. This is relevant, for example, for fast-food restaurants. Take McDonald’s or KFC, which have installed self-service terminals in thousands of their restaurants. Similar devices can be found at airports, where either the airport itself or airlines use terminals that allow you to check in for your flight and even drop off your luggage.

With this technology, brands give customers more convenience and customize a subtle merchandise sale. In fact, McDonald’s sales grew 5-6% within a year of installing self-service terminals. These terminals are part of the company’s own digital transformation strategy.

However, customer habits are changing slowly. For example, terminals for self-purchase tickets are also being installed at railway stations, but passengers still queue up at the ticket office. Nurturing new models of consumer behavior is another necessary part of digital transformation.

Companies should identify what prevents consumers from using new services and find ways to engage them. This can be done by providing training, explicitly demonstrating the benefits or incentivizing customers. At the same time, the first user experience must be successful and emotionally positive. For this purpose, at least in the first stages, you can help customers perform a transaction through a terminal, reward them with bonuses for online checkout, or offer special conditions for purchase through a mobile application.

The use of advanced technologies allows companies to build true personalized communication even with hundreds of thousands of customers:

  • To be ahead of their expectations
  • To react instantly to changes
  • To offer those ways of interaction in which the consumer is interested, not the company

What should be the result of digital transformation? The consumer should be able to receive not just a product or service but a full-fledged emotional experience and value from interaction with the company. Then, they will become truly loyal.

How does SoloWay Tech can help you?

When a company embarks on its digital transformation journey, one key challenge is whether to buy the necessary software or build it yourself. Each approach has pros and cons.

The clear advantage of buying out-of-the-box solutions is saving a lot of time and freeing up resources that a company can use to improve its product or services for the customer. With your own software development, you get software with needed features and can update it further per your needs.

We at SoloWay Tech can help you with that. Our outsourcing software development company specializes in digital transformation solutions for retail, healthcare, real estate, e-commerce, and manufacturing industries. Feel free to contact us to discuss your digitalization pass!

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