Digital transformation is a topic we hear of more and more frequently in recent times. In brief, it refers to the set of processes a company undertakes to either introduce new digital technologies (or enhance existing ones) to adapt to markets and customer needs that are constantly and rapidly changing.
A few decades ago, beginning with the birth of the first computers and then with the advent of Internet, the digital transformation has profoundly changed the organization and the way companies do business, to make the most of the opportunities offered by new technologies and innovative channels of communication.
In order to be able to maximize the potential of the new digital means available, business processes must be remodeled to cope with such dynamics and be ready to respond to customer needs.
From digital transformation to customer transformation
A Salesforce report, for which more than 15,000 consumers were interviewed worldwide, revealed that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, two out of three consumers (68% in Italy) expected being able to interact with companies digitally.
Consumers want businesses that are meaningful and that offer efficient digital experiences. In 2020, 58% of interactions with brands took place online (an increase of 17% compared to 2019), demonstrating that today customers also choose digital means to acquire products and services they previously obtained through in-person interactions.
Companies must review and digitize every aspect of their business to build customer loyalty, focusing more on factors such as customer experience and satisfaction. This can bring value to customers and at the same time greater profits to brands.
Moving to digital is no longer an option but an indispensable element to keep up with the times, even more so after the pandemic that has highlighted the convenience of online experiences.
This is because digital technology has transformed consumer habits: the new consumer is constantly connected and aware that, thanks to technology, one can get what they want almost exactly when they need it.
The customer is therefore at the center of this digital transformation. In addition to the services and products offered, one of the predominant criteria for evaluating a company by customers is based precisely on the proposed digital experience.
The importance of Customer centricity
Don Peppers, business strategist and marketing futurist, explained during an online event organized by WOBI that “being customer centric means seeing the world with their eyes, treating each of them differently and satisfying their every need.”
Having a customer centric strategy means building and maintaining a business that puts the customer first and at the center of the brand. Although it is well known that there is no business without customers and all companies say they put customers at the center of attention, this often does not happen automatically or it simply does not happen at all.
In the past, marketing focused on acquiring more and more customers, while today the most important aspect is to keep customers for as long as possible. Market objectives no longer focus on how many products the company sells, but on the ability to meet customer needs.
A satisfied customer will maintain a lasting relationship with the brand over time. The customers will hardly change, but on the contrary they can become an ambassador of the brand itself and pass on their experience to other potential customers. Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes minimizes their effort, thus maximizing their value.
How to create a bond of trust with customers
In a customer centric strategy, the customer experience (CX) assumes central importance. The CX represents the totality of individual customer interactions with the brand over time, on all digital and non-digital touch points.
There are four points to consider to build a good customer experience:
- Reliable experience: it is necessary to work constantly to improve the services dedicated to the customer (customer service).
- Value experience: it is very important to propose a reasonable price for the product or service offered. The proposal must also create value for both the customer and the brand (customer duality);
- Relevant experience: the company must be able to differentiate the tastes and particularities that concern each customer. The more the brand succeeds in this, the more relevant the experience will be;
- Experience of trust: only 34% of customers trust the brand they buy and consume. To be trustworthy, a company must convey its skills and good intentions to the customer, as well as having to offer something that can be beneficial to the consumer.
Trust and empathy are at the heart of a customer-centric strategy, especially in the historical moment in which we live. Due to smartphone and social networks, face-to-face interactions have significantly decreased. Empathy is a human trait that allows brands to be “social”, allowing them to put themselves in the consumer’s shoes and understand them.
How Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help put the customer at the center
Having the right technology to leverage this digital transformation is paramount. Companies must have flexible solutions that can be configured and customized to interact individually with each customer. AI is certainly the solution to these emerging needs.
According to an IDC report, Artificial Intelligence is now the norm in our lives, thanks to its widespread application in various areas. The AI market is expected to grow by 16.4% in 2021, reaching a value of 327.5 billion dollars, and by 2024 to exceed the impressive figure of 500 billion dollars.
If you are looking for an Artificial Intelligence solution that is within everyone’s reach and can help you put the customer at the center of your digital strategies, discover our solution and request a DEMO immediately.