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To serve the all-digital customer, begin with convenience

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On the digital transformation journey, flexibility is essential.

By Dulles Krishnan

The COVID-19 pandemic forced every company to go digital overnight. In the all-digital world that has emerged, consumers are more connected and indeed more powerful than ever before. Increasingly they’re able to choose how, when, where, and with what device to engage with brands. For businesses across every industry, the capability to deliver instant, informed and agile customer service will determine success in the digital economy.

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Digitally transforming organisations and unlocking the power of data is easier said than done, of course. On every step of this journey, leaders should be guided by the need for building resilience into their business models – enabling convenient and empowering customer journeys. Companies equipped with a single source of truth of every customer will be in a better position to deliver seamless and connected experiences and personalisation at scale.

Convenience, Empowerment and Flexibility – moving towards “Moment Orientation”

It is no understatement that unification and segmentation of customer data and consistency across touchpoints is revolutionising entire industries and customer engagement strategies. Increasingly we’re seeing that seamless marketing, commerce and online experiences across email, website and social platforms, advertising and in-store are becoming more important. Take the travel industry for example. With email messages that require just one click to book trips, social sharing that lowers costs, and provision of out-of-the-box payment solutions, companies are guaranteeing convenience and pace with every customer journey.

A data-driven and scalable single source of truth is helping companies with opportunities to manage larger volumes of customers and to empower their customers through personalisation. Instant access to details such as a customer’s past purchases, for instance, helps service providers to better understand their needs as well as to build greater trust and loyalty. What’s more, by tapping into the power of artificial intelligence, companies are better able to discover and predict the optimal timing, channel, content and audience for any marketing message, and serve customers 24/7. This is good for the customer. It’s also reimagining brands and driving ROI.

On the digital transformation journey, flexibility is essential. It’s important to meet customers where they are, forge new relationships that help identify new revenue streams, and thereby future proof the business. This also means bringing balance to digital tactics. Transforming at pace, it is important that focus on touchpoints does not come at the expense of the customer’s end-to-end experience. Moving from one aggregated customer journey to thousands of personalised journeys requires a new approach entirely. Instead of episodic campaign content, organisations can move towards a “moment-orientation”, building experiences around a collection of interchangeable, contextual, non-sequential moments.

Skilling an All-Digital Workforce

In the age of the all-digital customer, only companies with a single source of truth – with a 360 degree view of every individual can serve with the speed, agility and the scale. This will enable deepening of customer relationships – by unifying, segmenting and activating all of their customer data.

Technology is digitising who we live and work with, but the need for human touch and learning will remain constant. Just as companies must adapt rapidly, we must prepare our workforce for the changing nature of jobs and skills that the new economy requires. Training teams how to effectively leverage data together is just one example. Where most data is siloed, companies need IT and business teams to align, to get to know their customers better, and make better decisions. It’s time to evaluate, and scale the Digital Quotient (DQ) of your workforce.

(The author is AVP, Salesforce India. Views expressed are personal.)

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