How To Meet Higher Customer Expectations With A Digital Transformation

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How To Meet Higher Customer Expectations With A Digital Transformation
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The COVID-19 pandemic changed customer service, and one of the biggest changes is that customers have higher expectations. Companies that fail to meet them will quickly feel the fallout; one report shows that nearly three-fourths of shoppers will abandon a brand after three or fewer negative experiences.

Now more than ever, customers desire seamless and personalized experiences at every touchpoint of their buyer’s journey, and that’s where digital transformation comes in, says Gerry Szatvanyi, Forbes Books author of The Great Digital Transformation: Reimagining the Future of Customer Interactions.

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“Amid an evolving era of retail, the most successful companies will be those that are quick to embrace digital transformation as a tool for enhancing customer experiences and brand loyalty,” says Gerry, co-founder, president and CEO of OSF Digital, an IT service management company.

“From artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to advanced analytics and interconnected cloud commerce, the power of advanced technology in retail can serve as the ultimate competitive edge for enterprises to leverage. Meeting customer expectations in a digital era requires a proactive approach built on innovation.”

Tips For Companies To Shape Their Digital Transformation Strategy

Gerry says companies should keep these four focus areas in mind as they shape their digital transformation strategy:

  • Leverage unified commerce for better personalization.

With the right digital transformation solutions in place, Gerry says, retailers can automate the analysis of e-commerce data from multiple cloud platforms. “That in turn generates actionable insights on the purchasing behaviors and habits of repeat customers,” he says.

“Retailers can then utilize these customer predictability insights to make informed decisions that enhance personalization within their digital channels.”

  • Optimize omnichannel offerings for better convenience.

At the beginning of the pandemic, retailers were quick to adopt innovative omnichannel offerings like “buy online,” “pick up in store,” and “curbside pickup.” But what was then a move made out of desperation is now a necessity for business survival and growth, thanks to higher customer expectations, Gerry says.

“As consumers have grown increasingly accustomed to the heightened levels of convenience, it’s clear that these are more than merely quick fixes,” he says. “From quick and simplified pickup processes to less-populated brick–and-mortar stores, omnichannel services have helped shape a new version of the retail experience while also preserving the safety of customers and employees.”

  • Reduce e-commerce friction for better efficiency.

The complexities associated with online shopping are among the top drivers of lost e-commerce sales. One study shows 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned, mainly due to hidden costs, elongated checkout processes, slow delivery times, and website errors. “These variables often create friction with the buyer’s journey,” Gerry says.

“Alleviating areas of friction can be accomplished by simplifying omnichannel platform navigation with quick checkout processes optimized for higher conversion rates. Creating transparent product messaging with informative descriptions, visual components, clear price structures, and accurate availability is also essential.”

  • Build brand advocates for better customer engagement.

“In an era when TikTok trends and Instagram stories have become fixtures of our everyday lives, the direct correlation between profit growth and a best-in-class ambassador program shouldn’t be taken for granted,” Gerry says.

“Leveraging brand ambassadors as vocal advocates who drive messaging between the retailer and its customers is an effective way to convert social media into a consistent revenue stream.”

Conclusion

“Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination,” Gerry says. “It requires an ongoing commitment to adopting digital-centric practices that provide the agility and foresight needed to meet evolving customer expectations.

With the right unified commerce framework in place, retailers can take proactive steps toward fostering new pathways to profitability.”


About Gerard "Gerry" Szatvanyi

Gerard “Gerry” Szatvanyi, Forbes Books author of The Great Digital Transformation: Reimagining the Future of Customer Interactions, is the co-founder, president and CEO of OSF Digital, a consultancy and integrator focusing on Salesforce and supporting B2C and B2B companies through digital transformation. He has more than 15 years of experience managing start-ups and medium-size IT businesses while driving them to peak performance. Gerry holds a Master of Science degree from Laval University in Quebec City.

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